This report explores what makes the Berkman Fellows program successful and aims to derive lessons that can be applied to other institutions.
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.)
The purpose of the study is to understand the public opinion toward issues related to Internet freedom in Asia. This report provides a basic overview of the opinions and behaviors on a number of topics related to Internet freedom, including but not limited to Internet censorship and the adoption and use of circumvention, anonymization, and encryption tools.
Western Massachusetts Towns Create a New Model for Last-Mile Connectivity, but a State Agency Delays Approval and Funding
A new case study from the Berkman Center's Municipal Fiber Initiative profiles a group of Western Massachusetts towns who have created a new model for last-mile connectivity.
An evaluation of self-construction, dark fiber, and lit fiber options for school districts following recent enhancements to E-rate
This new toolkit provides school system leaders the guidance to understand and leverage the federal E-rate program, which provides up to $3.9 billion annually to subsidize the provision of high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries.
As online services play an increasingly important role in every aspect of our lives, companies are being forced to make difficult legal decisions about the free speech and privacy rights of their users. This guide provides the tools and information your company needs to respect the privacy, security, free expression, and intellectual property rights of your users.
The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of a new paper from the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project team. In this paper, Effy Vayena, Urs Gasser, Alexandra Wood, and David O’Brien from the Berkman Center, with Micah Altman from MIT Libraries, outline elements of a new ethical framework for big data research.
Best Practices for Reporting on U.S. Government Requests for User Information
The Transparency Reporting Toolkit is a project by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI). Using research on the current state of transparency reporting, the project aims to identify best practices, create a template transparency report, and establish reporting guidelines.
The role of the networked public sphere in advancing civic participation and collective action in the Arab region
“Mobilization for Change” is a series of reports examining the role of the networked public sphere in advancing civic participation and collective action in the Arab region.
How Cloud Computing Has Disrupted the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty System and Why It Matters
This paper describes how the fractal complexity of cloud computing’s physical geography has fractured the system of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that arose during the jet age to help shuttle evidence of crime across borders.
In this paper, which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel together with Harvard College student Saranya Vijayakuma identify and survey 865 encryption products from 55 different countries, 546 of them from outside the United States.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of a new paper, "Interoperability in the Digital Ecosystem." The paper builds upon our previous interoperability work, including a case study series and the book Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems (Basic Books, June 2012) co-authored by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.
The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of this new paper, which provides a detailed account of the launch of New York City's universal pre-kindergarten program and includes an extensive discussions of the city's use of data science techniques.
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.
This workshop report, the second in a series, identifies selected questions and explores issues around the meaning of “public” in the context of using data about individuals for research purposes.
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.
Youth and Media is pleased to announce the publication of "Youth and Online News: Reflections and Perspectives," a series of short essays written by friends and colleagues that offer insightful, provoking, and out-of-the-box reflections and observations at the intersection of news, digital media, and youth.
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.
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.
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.
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.