About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate clients on issues relating to the Internet, technology, and intellectual property. Students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit by working on real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, and transactional / licensing projects and cases. The Clinic strives to help clients achieve success in their activities online, mindful of (and in response to) existing law. The Clinic also works with clients to shape the law’s development through policy and advocacy efforts. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. The Clinic works independently, with law students supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys.  In some cases, the Clinic collaborates with counsel throughout the country to take advantage of regional or substantive legal expertise. The Cyberlaw Clinic advocates with or on behalf of collaborators and clients on a variety of law and policy topics. The Clinic generally does not take positions in its own name. It makes client selection and other decisions relevant to its practice mindful of a set of core values and actively seeks to advance those values through its work. Values at the heart of the Clinic’s practice and teaching activities include: promotion of a robust and inclusive online ecosystem for free expression; advancement of diversity as a key interest in technology development and tech policy; elimination or mitigation of the impact of bias in the development and deployment of technology; respect for and protection of privacy, vis-à-vis both private and government actors; open government; transparency with respect to public and private technical systems that impact all citizens (and, in particular, members of vulnerable populations); access to knowledge and information; advancement of cultural production through efficient and balanced regulatory and enforcement regimes; and support for broad participation in public discourse

From the Blog

Clinic Supports Access Now to #KeepItOn in Indonesia

[caption id="attachment_4498" align="alignright" width="150"]Image of Papuan resident holding handmade sign reading "EQUAL?" Papua New Guinea. Video Still. ©Stephan Bachenheimer/World Bank SB-PNG02[/caption] Last week, a court in Indonesia ruled that internet shutdowns which the government had imposed in Papua and West Papua in 2019 were illegal. The shutdowns were a part of the government’s strategy — which also included the use of excessive force — to suppress protests in August and September 2019 after an incident in which state security forces were filmed using racist language and attacking Papuan students. The shutdowns and accompanying mobile network disruptions prevented residents of the regions from exercising their freedom to assemble, keeping in touch with loved ones, and accessing important information relevant to their safety. 

Cyberlaw Clinic Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Journalists Supporting Transparency

The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (pdf) this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of a group of data journalists and media organizations, advocating for a greater access to government records stored in databases under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The brief supports the plaintiff-appellee Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Everytown) in an appeal arising out of a FOIA request submitted by Everytown to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is the second brief the Clinic has filed on this topic, the first being filed in Spring 2019 in the case CIR v. DOJ.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Rousseau

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS v. ROUSSEAU  | No. SJC-11227  |  Mass. January 22, 2013 |  The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, defending the location privacy of the people of Massachusetts in the case of Commonwealth v. Rousseau. The Supreme Judicial Court had called for amicus briefs, asking the question of whether a passenger in a vehicle tracked by GPS had the legal right to challenge the collection of their location data. The brief argues that a passenger does have such standing, primarily because of the passenger’s reasonable expectation that movements will not be tracked by the government without the issuance of a valid warrant. The brief also points out that courts must be vigilant in applying traditional legal safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures in the context of increasingly invasive surveillance technologies.