Publications

The Berkman Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, known as the Berkman Publication Series, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed.)

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Briefing Document: Public Networks for Public Safety

A Workshop on the Present and Future of Mesh Networks

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to present this briefing document, which was developed as part of our March 30th workshop on "Public Networks for Public Safety: A Workshop on the Present and Future of Mesh Networking.” The event provided a starting point for conversation about whether mesh networks could be adopted within consumer technologies to enhance public safety communications and empower and connect the public while simultaneously improving public safety.

  • Jonathan Zittrain
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman

29 May 2012

Salience vs. Commitment: Dynamics of Political Hashtags in Russian Twitter

Social media sites like Twitter enable users to engage in the spread of contagious phenomena: everything from information and rumors to social movements and virally marketed products. In particular, Twitter has been observed to function as a platform for political discourse, allowing political movements to spread their message and engage supporters, and also as a platform for information diffusion, allowing everyone from mass media to citizens to reach a wide audience with a critical piece of news.

  • John Kelly
  • Vladimir Barash

10 Apr 2012

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Guide to the IRS Decision-Making Process under Section 501(c)(3) for Journalism and Publishing Non-Profit Organizations

Until and unless there is action in Congress to facilitate tax exemptions for journalism non-profits, news organizations seeking 501(c)(3) status must learn how to structure their operations to meet the existing standards applied by the IRS. To that end, this guide is intended to provide practical information regarding the standards that the IRS applies in determining whether to grant federal tax-exempt status to a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3).

  • Jeffrey Hermes

2 Apr 2012

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Mapping Russian Twitter

Drawing from a corpus of over 50 Million Russian language tweets collected between March 2010 and March 2011, the Berkman research team created a network map of 10,285 users comprising the ‘discussion core’ of Russian Twitter, and clustered them based on a combination of network features. The resulting segmentation revealed key online constituencies active in Russian Twitter. The major topical groupings in Russian Twitter include: Political, Instrumental, CIS Regional, Technology, and Music.

  • Bruce Etling
  • Rob Faris
  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser
  • John Kelly
  • Karina Alexanyan
  • Vladimir Barash

20 Mar 2012

Exploring Russian Cyberspace: Digitally-Mediated Collective Action and the Networked Public Sphere

This paper summarizes the major findings of a three-year research project to investigate the Internet’s impact on Russian politics, media and society. We employed multiple methods to study online activity: the mapping and study of the structure, communities and content of the blogosphere; an analogous mapping and study of Twitter; content analysis of different media sources using automated and human-based evaluation approaches; and a survey of bloggers; augmented by infrastructure mapping, interviews and background research.

  • Bruce Etling
  • Rob Faris
  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser
  • Hal Roberts
  • John Kelly
  • Karina Alexanyan
  • Vladimir Barash

2 Mar 2012

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Final Report: Symposium on Youth Meanness & Cruelty

As part of the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation, The Symposium on Youth Meanness and Cruelty took place at Harvard Law School on February 29th, 2012. Generously supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Symposium brought together experts, researchers, policymakers, foundation representatives, youth, and others to discuss research and findings related to bullying, meanness, and cruelty, while also emphasizing positive concepts like healthy relationships, civic engagement, and digital citizenship. In addition to an introduction to the program overall (Section I), this report provides: high level notes from each of the sessions that took place during the Symposium (Section II), answers generated by Symposium participants in response to four driving questions that framed the discussions (Section III), and the central themes that emerged during the day (Section IV). These sections reflect the collation of immediate takeaways from the Symposium, a synthesis of central themes, and participants' feedback.

  • John Palfrey
  • danah boyd

29 Feb 2012

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Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities.

  • Urs Gasser
  • Sandra Cortesi
  • Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative
  • Momin Malik
  • Ashley Lee

23 Feb 2012

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Bullying Prevention 101 for Schools: Dos and Don’ts

This document provides a list of dos and don’ts for schools in developing anti-bullying practices and policies. The purpose of this document is to provide concrete ways in which schools 1) can assess if they’re doing the right things; 2) have tactical recommendations aimed at improving their school culture, curricula, and school policies. Findings are grounded in research findings on actions and activities that have been shown to help schools improve anti-bullying efforts.

  • Susan Swearer
  • Mia Doces
  • Lisa Jones
  • Anne Collier

23 Feb 2012

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Changing the Culture: Ideas for Student Action

The purpose of this document is to provide positive action items that students can take to make their schools and communities healthier places and to challenge meanness and cruelty. It is presented as a list of ideas. While none of these initiatives have been evaluated, they are grounded in a research-driven understanding of interventions, practices, and actions that can be helpful in improving school culture.

  • Susan Swearer
  • Mia Doces
  • Lisa Jones
  • Anne Collier

23 Feb 2012

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An Overview of State Anti-Bullying Legislation and Other Related Laws

This document provides an overview, as of January 2012, of existing state anti-bullying laws, pending state and federal anti-bullying legislation, and other relevant federal and state laws. It is meant to inform the discussion of legal policy issues around bullying, in particular at the Symposium on Youth Meanness and Cruelty being held at Harvard Law School on February 29, 2012 as part of the Kinder & Braver World Project.

  • Dena Sacco
  • Katharine Silbaugh
  • Felipe Corredor
  • June Casey
  • Davis Doherty

22 Feb 2012

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Intellectual Property Strategy

In this book, intellectual property expert and Harvard Law School professor John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectual property strategy for corporate managers and nonprofit administrators. Palfrey argues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive “sword and shield” approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essential to a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy--especially in an era of changing attitudes about media.

  • John Palfrey

7 Oct 2011

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Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users

In partnership with colleagues at the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Berkman Center is pleased to release a report on “Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users,” by Erica Newland, Caroline Nolan, Cynthia Wong, and Jillian York.

  • Caroline Nolan
  • Jillian York
  • Erica Newland
  • Cynthia Wong

20 Sep 2011

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The Evolving Landscape of Internet Control

A Summary of Our Recent Research and Recommendations

Over the past two years, we have undertaken several studies at the Berkman Center designed to better understand the control of the Internet in less open societies. In this paper, we offer an overview of our research in the context of these changes in the methods used to control online speech, and some thoughts on the challenges to online speech in the immediate future.

  • Rob Faris
  • John Palfrey
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts
  • Jillian York

18 Aug 2011

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2011 Circumvention Tool Evaluation

Given the rising awareness of the potential of the Internet as a political space and increasing government control over the space, it is easy to understand the widespread interest in finding technical solutions to Internet filtering. In this report, we focus on questions of utility—the ability for a tool to be installed and used in a particular location, and the accuracy and speed of the tool. Additionally, we address concerns about security, usability and openness when appropriate.

  • John Palfrey
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts

18 Aug 2011

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International Bloggers and Internet Control

Infringements on Internet freedom, particularly through Internet filtering and surveillance, have inspired activists and technologists to develop technological counter-measures, most notably circumvention tools to defeat Internet filters and anonymity tools to help protect user privacy and avoid online surveillance efforts. In December 2010, we surveyed a sample of international bloggers to better understand how, where, why, and by whom these tools are being used.

  • Rob Faris
  • John Palfrey
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts
  • Jillian York

18 Aug 2011

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The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest

Yochai Benkler draws on cutting-edge findings from neuroscience, economics, sociology, evolutionary biology, political science, and a wealth of real world examples to reveal how we can harness the power of human cooperation to improve business processes, design smarter technology, reform our economic systems, maximize volunteer contributions to science, reduce crime, improve the efficacy of civic movements, and more.

  • Yochai Benkler

9 Aug 2011

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Online Security in the Middle East and North Africa

A Survey of Perceptions, Knowledge, and Practice

The recent surge in digital activism that has helped to shape the Arab spring has been met with stiff resistance by governments in the region intent on reducing the impact of digital organizing and independent media. In this report we describe the results of a survey of 98 bloggers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) carried out in May 2011 in order to study bloggers’ perceptions of online risk and the actions they take to address digital communications security, including both Internet and cell phone use.

  • Rob Faris
  • Urs Gasser
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts
  • Rebekah Heacock Jones

1 Aug 2011

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Rethinking Music: A Briefing Book

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to present this briefing book to participants in the Rethink Music conference. The book includes the Center’s own framing paper, which introduces a number of issues that will be discussed during the course of the conference. Following that paper are contributions from a wide range of contributors, addressing some of the most current and compelling issues in music law and policy.

24 Apr 2011

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Foundation Funding: Open Licenses, Greater Impact

Private foundations support the creation of a wide range of work products, ranging from books, articles, reports, and research summaries to educational materials and textbooks to photographs, works of visual art, films, videos, and musical compositions and recordings to software code, computer programs and technical systems to many, many others. To achieve the most impact and the greatest good with the money they invest, foundations seek to ensure the broadest dissemination and greatest, most productive and innovative use, reuse and redistribution of the many works they support.

  • Phil Malone

2 Feb 2011

2010 Report on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

This paper evaluates the impact of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on independent media and human rights sites in nine countries, as well as the broader impact of DDoS worldwide, and makes recommendations for how independent media and human rights sites can best respond to such attacks.

  • John Palfrey
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts
  • Jillian York
  • Ryan McGrady

20 Dec 2010

Accountability and Transparency at ICANN: An Independent Review

In August 2010, selected faculty and researchers at the Berkman Center initiated an independent, exploratory study analyzing ICANN’s decision-making processes and communications with its stakeholders. The study focused on developing a framework and recommendations for understanding and improving ICANN’s accountability and transparency.

  • Input to ICANN Accountability and Transparency Review Process

3 Nov 2010

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