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.)

Between Openness and Privacy in Genomics

In this report, which was published in PLOS Medicine, the authors examine the questions around access to genomic data. They argue that the real breakthrough in reconciling privacy and openness in genomics requires confronting head-on some fundamentally normative tensions that are escalated in the era of genomics and big data, and they suggest three points that will play a crucial role in navigating between privacy and openness.

Authored by
  • Effy Vayena
  • Urs Gasser

12 Jan 2016

Openness and Restraint

Structure, Discourse, and Contention in Saudi Twitter

"Openness and Restraint" maps and analyzes the structure and content of the Saudi Twittersphere and identifies the communities that coalesce around different political, religious, social, and cultural topics and viewpoints. The paper examines how users take advantage of the fact that Twitter is an unfiltered media platform to advance their political and social causes.

Authored by
  • Helmi Noman
  • Rob Faris
  • John Kelly

10 Dec 2015

Towards Digital Constitutionalism? Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights

The idea of an “Internet Bill of Rights” is by no means a new one: in fact, serious efforts to draft such a document can be traced at least as far back as the mid-1990s. Though the form, function and scope of such initiatives has evolved, the concept has had remarkable staying power, and now—two full decades later—principles which were once radically aspirational have begun to crystallize into law. In this paper, we propose a unified term to describe these efforts using the umbrella of “digital constitutionalism” and conduct an analysis of thirty initiatives spanning from 1999 to 2015. 

Authored by
  • Lex Gill
  • Dennis Redeker
  • Urs Gasser

9 Nov 2015

Beyond the Wall

Mapping Twitter in China

"Beyond the Wall: Mapping Twitter in China" offers a rare look at the activity of Chinese Internet users on a platform that is largely unregulated by the state and only reachable through the use of tools that circumvent state-mandated Internet filters.

Authored by
  • Sonya Song
  • Rob Faris
  • John Kelly

4 Nov 2015

Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies

We have worked directly for many years with colleagues at many institutions on policies to facilitate open access to faculty research. We began writing this guide in 2011 to codify the kind of advice we found ourselves repeating, make it available to more institutions than we could ever reach directly, and solicit the help of others in making it more comprehensive and useful. 

Edited by
  • Stuart Shieber
  • Peter Suber

16 Oct 2015

Designing Successful Governance Groups

Lessons for Leaders from Real-World Examples

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, together with the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC), is pleased to announce the release of a new publication, “Designing Successful Governance Groups: Lessons for Leaders from Real-World Examples." This paper draws on our previous research and provides an actionable starting place for those interested in understanding some of the critical ingredients for successful multistakeholder governance.

Authored by
  • Ryan Budish
  • Sarah Myers West
  • Urs Gasser

10 Aug 2015

Student Privacy: The Next Frontier

Emerging & Future Privacy Issues in K-12 Learning Environments

Building off several prior working meetings which mapped and considered the implications of the new and rapidly evolving ecosystem of networked technology being used with education (“ed tech”), the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Student Privacy Initiative convened a conversation in May 2015 among multiple stakeholders, including, but not limited to, K-12 educators, district administrators, academics, policy makers, and industry representatives. This report seeks to summarize the conversation's main themes and highlight suggestions for future action...

Authored by
  • Paulina Haduong
  • Sandra Cortesi
  • Leah Plunkett
  • Dalia Topelson Ritvo
  • Urs Gasser

30 Jul 2015

Holyoke: A Massachusetts Municipal Light Plant Seizes Internet Access Business Opportunities

Holyoke Gas & Electric’s telecom division provides high-speed Internet access to local businesses and public agencies, bringing in revenue and profits while aiding in local economic development and saving the municipality more than $300,000 a year. At the same time, it has expanded to other lines of business and serves three communities outside Holyoke which need its help. HG&E Telecom’s success in a competitive environment suggests opportunities for other municipal light plants in Massachusetts and other states.

8 Jul 2015

Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media

An ebook presenting diverse views, experiences, and insights on key challenges and opportunities

“Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” is a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth experiences with digital media and with focus on the Global South.  It creatively combines adult voices with written and visual contributions by young people from around the world.

Edited by
  • Urs Gasser
  • Sandra Cortesi

7 Apr 2015

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations From a Series of National Case Studies

This project examines the rapidly changing landscape of online intermediary liability at the intersection of law, technology, norms, and markets, and is aimed at informing and improving Internet policy-making globally, and is a first output of a larger initiative on the governance of online intermediaries. 

Edited by
  • Urs Gasser
  • Wolfgang Schulz

18 Feb 2015

Score Another One for the Internet? The Role of the Networked Public Sphere in the U.S. Net Neutrality Policy Debate

A new paper from the Media Cloud team concludes that a diverse set of actors working in conjunction through the networked public sphere played a central, arguably decisive, role in turning around the Federal Communications Commission policy on net neutrality. 

Authored by
  • Rob Faris
  • Hal Roberts
  • Bruce Etling
  • Dalia Othman
  • Yochai Benkler

10 Feb 2015

Arab Religious Skeptics Online

Anonymity, Autonomy, and Discourse in a Hostile Environment

"Arab Religious Skeptics Online: Anonymity, Autonomy, and Discourse in a Hostile Environment," authored by Helmi Noman, is the sixth paper in the Internet Monitor special report series, which focuses on key events and new developments in Internet freedom. The report analyzes the content, discourse, and structure of three prominent Arab atheist web forums and examines the relationship between the networked information economy and the emergence of religious skeptics in Arab cyberspace.

Authored by
  • Helmi Noman

5 Feb 2015

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Multistakeholder as Governance Groups: Observations from Case Studies

The project explores existing multistakeholder governance groups with the goal of informing the future evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem. The research effort represents a globally coordinated, independent academic research pilot project by the Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) consisting of twelve case studies and a synthesis paper.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser
  • Ryan Budish
  • Sarah Myers West

15 Jan 2015

Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World

The Internet Monitor project's second annual report—Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World—is a collection of roughly three dozen short contributions that highlight and discuss some of the most compelling events and trends in the digitally networked environment over the past year.

Authored by
  • Jonathan Zittrain
  • Rob Faris
  • Urs Gasser
  • Rebekah Heacock Jones

16 Dec 2014

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Russia, Ukraine, and the West

Social Media Sentiment in the Euromaidan Protests

"Russia, Ukraine, and the West: Social Media Sentiment in the Euromaidan Protests," authored by Bruce Etling, is the fourth paper in the Internet Monitor special reports series, which focuses on key events and new developments in Internet freedom. The paper analyzes content from a range of online Russian- and English-language sources, including both social media (Facebook, Twitter, and forums) and traditional media, to explore sentiment in the online conversation about the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine last winter.

Authored by
  • Bruce Etling

30 Sep 2014

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The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance

New book co-authored by Susan Crawford

The Responsive City is a compelling guide to civic engagement and governance in the digital age that will help municipal leaders link important breakthroughs in technology and data analytics with age-old lessons of small-group community input to create more agile, competitive and economically resilient cities. The book is co-authored by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg penned the book’s foreword.

Authored by
  • Susan Crawford

2 Sep 2014

Integrating Approaches to Privacy across the Research Lifecycle: Long-term Longitudinal Studies

This paper explores interdisciplinary approaches to privacy in long-term longitudinal studies of human subjects. Long-term longitudinal studies collect, at multiple points over a long period of time, highly-specific and often sensitive data describing the health, socioeconomic, or behavioral characteristics of human subjects.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser
  • David O'Brien
  • Alexandra Wood

3 Aug 2014

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Who Gets a Press Pass?

Media Credentialing Practices in the United States

This study, the first of its kind to perform a quantitative examination of media credentialing in the United States, surveys the experience of journalists throughout the country in their efforts to obtain media credentials from different types of credentialing organizations from 2008 to 2013.

Authored by
  • Jeffrey Hermes
  • Reynol Junco
  • Osman Tolga Aricak
  • John Wihbey

4 Jun 2014

Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014

This paper provides a snapshot of key aspects of a diverse—and heated—law, policy, and implementation debate that is taking place in the rapidly evolving cloud-based ed tech landscape as of early 2014. It aims to provide policy and decision-makers with greater information about and clarity around the avenues available in evaluating privacy options.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman
  • Leah Plunkett

2 Jun 2014

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Community Fiber in Washington, D.C., Seattle, WA, and San Francisco, CA

Developments and Lessons Learned

This report provides detailed accounts of planning carried out in connection with community fiber networks in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA. It includes information about existing fiber assets that the cities identified, funding mechanisms that were considered, and roadblocks that were encountered. Our hope is that this report will be helpful to other cities that are considering launching fiber optic networks.

Authored by
  • Susan Crawford
  • John Connolly
  • Melissa Nally
  • Travis West

27 May 2014

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Blogs as an Alternative Public Sphere

The Role of Blogs, Mainstream Media, and TV in Russia’s Media Ecology

"Blogs as an Alternative Public Sphere: The Role of Blogs, Mainstream Media, and TV in Russia’s Media Ecology," authored by Bruce Etling, Hal Roberts, and Robert Faris, is the third paper in the Internet Monitor special report series, which focuses on key events and new developments in Internet freedom. The paper uses data collected from thousands of blogs, mainstream media, and TV sources to examine the role of Russian blogs within Russia's media ecosystem.

Authored by
  • Bruce Etling
  • Rob Faris
  • Hal Roberts

28 Apr 2014

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Governments and Cloud Computing: Roles, Approaches, and Policy Considerations

In this paper, Urs Gasser and David O'Brien synthesize findings from a multi-year cloud computing research initiative led by the Berkman Center in close collaboration with the NEXA Center for Internet & Society (Italy), Keio University (Japan), the Research Center for Information Law (Switzerland), the NCCR Trade Regulation project on digital technologies and trade governance (Switzerland), and the participants at our Cloud Computing Workshop series held in Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC, and Keio University in Japan.

Authored by
  • Urs Gasser
  • David O'Brien

17 Mar 2014

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