About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, provides pro bono legal services at the intersection of technology and social justice. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice.

The Clinic’s work, teaching activities, and client selection are animated by our core values:

  • 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.

Participation in the Cyberlaw Clinic helps law students prepare for practice by working on real-world client counseling, advocacy, litigation, and transactional projects. The Clinic strives to center clients in our legal work, helping them to achieve success as they define it, mindful of (and in response to) existing law.

From the Blog

Cyberlaw Clinic Files Brief for HIRC on Device Searches at the Border

Last week, the Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (.pdf) in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Alasaad v. Wolf, Case Nos. 20-1077, 20-1081. The case addresses the constitutional implications of electronic device searches at the border. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts brought the case against the Department of Homeland Security, asserting claims by travelers whose phones and laptops were searched without warrants. The Clinic submitted the brief on behalf of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, which directly represents individuals applying for U.S. asylum and related protections and advocates on immigration policy issues at the local, national, and international levels. The brief emphasized the chilling effects on speech of warrantless, suspicionless device searches and highlighted the ways in which such government conduct deters the free exercise of expression and association. Spring 2020 Cyberlaw Clinic students Andrew Mettry and Jubilee Cheung and summer 2020 Cyberlaw Clinic interns Priyanka Krishnamurthy and William Walker worked with Clinical Instructor Mason Kortz and with HIRC to draft the brief.

230-esque Language in the USMCA: What Does It Mean for the US and Canada?

Cover of report

The Cyberlaw Clinic is excited to have collaborated with the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) to release a report today on the impact of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on intermediary liability laws in North America. The full report is available for download on SSRN. Article 19.17 of the new USMCA contains provisions modeled on Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act that protect platforms like Facebook and Google from being held liable for harmful or unlawful content posted by their users. While the liability shield the USMCA provides is quite similar to CDA § 230, the provisions differ in that the USMCA permits courts to order injunctions requiring platforms to take down content.