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.)

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 4.07.43 PM.png

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

IM2014_tn.png

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

IM_RussiaUkraineandtheWest_cover.png

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

crawford.jpg

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

WGPP.png

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

Law_and_Policy_Snapshot.jpg

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

Pages from SSRN-id2439429-1.jpg

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

blogsaltpublicsphere.png

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

Governments and Cloud Computing.png

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

youthperspectives.jpg

Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring

This research brief, prepared by the Berkman Center’s Youth and Media project for the co-organized Berkman Center and Consortium for School Networking working meeting on student privacy and cloud computing, presents empirical data on student privacy attitudes drawn from a series of focus groups conducted across the country between February and August 2013.

15 Jan 2014

K-12 Image.jpg

K-12 Edtech Cloud Service Inventory

Created for and informed by the co-organized Berkman Center and Consortium for School Networking working meeting on November 19, 2013, this document aims to provide individuals with a non-technological background with a more concrete survey of the kinds of cloud computing technologies (categorized by the affordances each offers) that may be adopted in K-12 educational contexts.

Authored by
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman

15 Jan 2014

StudentPrivacy.jpg

Student Privacy and Cloud Computing at the District Level: Next Steps and Key Issues

This report offers recommended next steps and prioritized open issues in the K-12 educational technology (edtech) space, with a special emphasis on two topics: (1) law and policy and (2) norms, values, attitudes, and practices, as well as an overarching eye to opportunities for collaboration. It builds from and reflects upon a conversation co-organized by the the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Student Privacy Initiative and the Consortium for School Networking, at which policymakers and educational technology thought leaders came together to emphasize the view “on the ground” as seen from the district level and identify specific resources for potential inclusion in a toolkit for diverse stakeholders considering the adoption and impact of cloud technologies in K-12 educational contexts.

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

15 Jan 2014

cover.jpg

Bringing Municipal High-Speed Internet Access to Leverett, Massachusetts

This report provides a detailed account of the development of LeverettNet, Leverett, Massachusetts’ municipal fiber optic network. It includes information about the extensive planning and outreach activities carried out by Leverett from 2011 through 2013, as well as details of the technical and operational characteristics of LeverettNet. Leverett has been successful in mobilizing support for LeverettNet, and the network is being built on schedule with full deployment planned for 2014. Our hope is that this report will be helpful to other cities that are considering launching fiber optic networks.

Authored by
  • Susan Crawford
  • Robyn Mohr

16 Dec 2013

IM2013_ReflectionsontheDigital.png

Internet Monitor 2013

Reflections on the Digital World

Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World, the Internet Monitor project's first-ever annual report, is a collection of essays from roughly two dozen experts around the world, including Ron Deibert, Malavika Jayaram, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Molly Sauter, Bruce Schneier, Ashkan Soltani, and Zeynep Tufekci, among others.

11 Dec 2013

IM_MeasuringInternetActivity.png

Measuring Internet Activity

A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics

"Measuring Internet Activity: A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics," authored by Robert Faris and Rebekah Heacock, explores current efforts to measure digital activity within three areas: infrastructure and access, control, and content and communities.

Authored by
  • Rob Faris
  • Rebekah Heacock Jones

14 Nov 2013

Pages from Privacy_and_Children's_Data_An_Overview_of_COPPA_and_FERPA.jpg

Privacy and Children's Data

An Overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

This overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was produced by Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic in advance of the Student Privacy Initiative's April 2013 workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem."

Authored by
  • Christopher Bavitz
  • Dalia Topelson Ritvo
  • Ritu Gupta
  • Irina Oberman

13 Nov 2013

StudentPrivacy_StateofPlay_Cover.jpg

Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem

State of Play & Potential Paths Forward

This report draws from ongoing Student Privacy Initiative research as well as participant inputs from an April 2013 exploratory workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem," to begin to map the current landscape and connect the often-siloed perspectives of educational institutions, students, parents, and administrators as well as cloud service providers and policy makers.

Authored by
  • Caroline Nolan
  • Urs Gasser
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman

13 Nov 2013

Why We Engage: How Theories of Human Behavior Contribute to Our Understanding of Civic Engagement in a Digital Era

We present this literature review as a means of exploring the intersection of theories of human behavior with the motivations for and benefits of engaging in civic life. We bring together literature from behavioral economics, sociology, psychology and communication studies to reveal how civic actors, institutions, and decision-making processes have been traditionally understood, and how emerging media tools and practices are forcing their reconsideration.

Authored by
  • Eric Gordon
  • Jesse Baldwin-Philippi
  • Martina Balestra

27 Oct 2013

Pages from PIP_Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy-1.jpg

Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy

58% of American teens have downloaded an app to a cell phone or tablet. More than half of teen apps users have avoided an app due to concerns about sharing their personal information—and girls are especially likely to take steps to protect their location data.

22 Aug 2013

Pages