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.
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.)
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.
This report explores what makes the Berkman Fellows program successful and aims to derive lessons that can be applied to other institutions.
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 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.
Social Media Sentiment in the Euromaidan Protests
New book co-authored by Susan Crawford
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.
Media Credentialing Practices in the United States
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.
Developments and Lessons Learned
The Role of Blogs, Mainstream Media, and TV in Russia’s Media Ecology
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.
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.