Online Safety, Civil Liberties, & User Rights

Overview

The Cyberlaw Clinic has developed significant expertise with respect to the issues that arise in the prosecution and defense of criminal cases that involve technology and the Internet.  The Clinic has assisted federal and state prosecutors and others with research and drafting of legal briefs in child pornography and other cybercrime cases regarding computer search and seizure and electronic evidence issues.  The Clinic has also counseled clients on issues relating to Fourth Amendment search and seizure; sexting, cyberbullying, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Representative Projects

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The Clinic prepared and submitted to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court amicus briefs on behalf of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Commonwealth v. Kaupp (pdf) and Commonwealth v. Bryant (pdf), both criminal appeals relating to statutory and constitutional limits on seizing and searching computers.  In the  Bryant opinion (pdf), the SJC affirmed the trial court’s decision, the result sought in the amicus brief, but did not reach the computer search issue.  In the Kaupp opinion, the SJC used its discretion to reach the issue and held that, as argued in the amicus brief, the police do not need to complete the forensic analysis of a seized computer and other electronic data storage devices within the prescribed period for executing a search warrant.