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.)

2010 Circumvention Tool Usage Report

This paper evaluates the usage of blocking-resistant circumvention tools, simple web proxies, and VPN services and finds that overall usage of circumvention tools is still very small in proportion to the number of Internet users in countries with substantial national Internet filtering.

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

14 Oct 2010


The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices

This white paper attempts to answer the question of whether news aggregators violate current law by examining the hot news misappropriation and copyright infringement claims that are often asserted against aggregators. It also provides news aggregators with some "best practices" for making use of third-party content.

  • Digital Media Law Project
  • Kimberley Isbell

30 Aug 2010

Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations

An Exploratory Study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, in Collaboration with UNICEF

This paper's main objectives are: to raise awareness about issues related to digital safety for youth in developing nations; to provide a tentative map of these issues and give insights into the current state of the respective research based on an exploratory literature review; and to outline the contours of a research framework through a series of working hypotheses that might inform subsequent research efforts on these issues by connecting efforts in developing and industrialized nations.

  • John Palfrey
  • Colin Maclay
  • Urs Gasser
  • Youth in Developing Countries

15 Jun 2010


Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace

"Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace," edited by Ronald J. Deibert, John G. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski and Jonathan Zittrain, with a foreword by Miklos Haraszti and chapters by Ronald Deibert, Colin Maclay, John Palfrey, Hal Roberts, Rafal Rohozinski, Nart Villeneuve, Ethan Zuckerman.

  • Jonathan Zittrain
  • John Palfrey
  • Ron Deibert
  • Rafal Rohozinski

29 Apr 2010

How the COPPA, as Implemented, Is Misinterpreted by the Public: A Research Perspective

Statement to the United States Senate, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Statement by danah boyd, Urs Gasser, and John Palfrey, urging consideration of the gap between the intentions of COPPA and how children and their parents perceive its implementation.

  • John Palfrey
  • danah boyd
  • Urs Gasser

28 Apr 2010


A Tale of Two Blogospheres: Discursive Practices on the Left and Right

This paper compares the practices of discursive production and participation among top U.S. political blogs on the left, right, and center during the summer of 2008 and finds evidence of an association between ideological affiliation and the technologies, institutions, and practices of participation across political blogs.

  • Yochai Benkler
  • Aaron Shaw

27 Apr 2010


Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry 09-94 “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape”

The response synthesizes current research and data on the media practices of youth, focusing on three main areas -- 1) Risky Behaviors and Online Safety, 2) Privacy, Publicity and Reputation, and 3) Information Dissemination, Youth-Created Content and Quality of Information...

  • John Palfrey
  • danah boyd
  • Urs Gasser
  • Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative

24 Feb 2010


Next Generation Connectivity

A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world

The FCC announced that the Berkman Center would conduct an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world. The Center's Final Report was submitted to the FCC on February 16, 2010.

  • Yochai Benkler
  • Rob Faris
  • Urs Gasser
  • Stephen Schultze
  • Laura Miyakawa
  • Broadband Review

15 Feb 2010

An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities

This project undertook to examine the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of twelve private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent to which charitable foundations are aware of and have begun to use open licenses such as Creative Commons or the GPL. The complete results and comprehensive analysis and recommendations are contained in the full Report of this project.

  • Phil Malone

16 Aug 2009

Youth, Creativity, and Copyright in the Digital Age

This paper describes research findings that show young people operate in the digital realm overwhelmingly ignorant of the rights, and to a lesser degree the restrictions, established in copyright law, and it presents the initial stages of the development of an educational intervention that posits students as creators in order to help them learn about copyright law.

  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser
  • Miriam Simun
  • Rosalie Fay Barnes

1 May 2009

Dynamic remodeling of in-group bias during the 2008 presidential election

People often favor members of their own group, while discriminating against members of other groups. Such in-group favoritism has been shown to play an important role in human cooperation. However, in the face of changing conflicts and shifting alliances, it is essential for group identities to be flexible. This experimental study illustrates a dynamic change in bias, tracking the realignment of real world conflict lines and public efforts to reconstitute group identity.

  • Yochai Benkler
  • Dave Rand
  • Thomas Pfeiffer
  • Anna Dreber
  • Rachel W. Sheketoff
  • Nils C. Wernerfelt

30 Mar 2009

Three Case Studies from Switzerland: Smartvote, Electronic Voting, and Political Communication

With the globalization of Internet use, the deployment of technology to improve democracy has rapidly gained worldwide attention. These case studies are organized around three specific examples within the Swiss context that map roughly onto three distinct stages of the democratic process: the pre-voting system (Smartvote); the voting stage itself (E-Voting); and the post-voting phase (Politicians' Personal Communication on the Internet).

  • Urs Gasser
  • Internet and Democracy
  • Jan Gerlach
  • James Thurman
  • Richard Staeuber

30 Mar 2009

2007 Circumvention Landscape Report: Methods, Uses, and Tools

A large variety of different projects have developed tools that can be used to circumvent Internet filtering, allowing people in filtered countries access to otherwise filtered content. This report describes the mechanisms of filtering and circumvention and evaluates ten projects that develop tools that can be used to circumvent filtering.

  • John Palfrey
  • Ethan Zuckerman
  • Hal Roberts

5 Mar 2009


Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was created in February 2008 in accordance with the "Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety" announced in January 2008 by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace. The Task Force submitted its Final Report to the Attorneys General in December, 2008.

  • John Palfrey
  • danah boyd
  • Dena Sacco
  • Internet Safety Technical Task Force
  • Laura DeBonis

14 Jan 2009

The Public and the Private at the United States Border with Cyberspace

In the twenty-first century, a state can come to know more about each of its citizens via surveillance than ever before in human history. Some states are beginning to exercise this ability. Much of this additional surveillance ability derives from enhanced access to digital information... We need to rethink legal protections for citizens from state surveillance in a digital age...

  • John Palfrey

27 Dec 2008

Digitally Networked Technology in Kenya's 2007-2008 Post-Election Crisis

Using the lens of the 2007-2008 Kenyan Presidential Election Crisis, this case study illustrates how digitally networked technologies, specifically mobile phones and the Internet, were a catalyst to both predatory behavior such as ethnic-based mob violence and to civic behaviors such as citizen journalism and human rights campaigns.

  • Internet and Democracy
  • Josh Goldstein
  • Juliana Rotich

29 Sep 2008


Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

Based on original research and advancing new theories, leading internet and technology experts John Palfrey and Urs Gasser offer a sociological portrait of the 'Born Digital' generation, and explore how they are changing the meaning of privacy, revolutionizing conceptions of copyright, and navigating the tidal wave of information in the digital world.

  • John Palfrey
  • Urs Gasser

1 Sep 2008

May 2008 Badware Websites Report analyzed over 200,000 websites found to engage in badware behavior, finding that over half of the sites were based on Chinese network blocks, with a small number of blocks accounting for most of the infected sites in that country. The report also identifies the 10 network blocks worldwide that contain the largest number of badware sites.


23 Jun 2008


Blown to Bits

Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Is this utopia? Or the dawning of a 1984/Brave New World horror world? Whatever you call it, it’s happening. What kind of world are we creating? What will it be like to live there? Blown to Bits offers powerful and controversial answers to these questions–and give you the knowledge you need to help shape your own digital future, not let others do it for you. Building on their pioneering joint MIT/Harvard course, the authors reveal how the digital revolution is changing everything, in ways that are stunning even the most informed experts.

  • Hal Abelson
  • Harry Lewis
  • Ken Leeden

16 Jun 2008