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.

From the Blog

Ninth Circuit Holds Cross-Border Killing Violated Victim’s 4th Am Rights

The Ninth Circuit issued an important decision last week in Rodriguez v. Swartz, allowing a Mexican mother to sue a United States government official over a cross-border shooting. The Court held that the defendant — Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz — violated the Fourth Amendment rights of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez when Swartz shot and killed Rodriguez. The shooting took place while Rodriguez was in Nogales, Mexico and Swartz was on the US side of the border.  The Cyberlaw Clinic and attorney Mahesha Subbaraman of Subbaraman PLLC submitted an amicus brief in the case on behalf of civil liberties advocacy organization, Restore the Fourth. Although the case did not directly concern cyber- or tech-related issues, the court’s reasoning may have long-term implications with respect to government activities in a wide range of contexts where actions occur on US soil but have extraterritorial effects.

D.C. Circuit Reverses Lower Court re: Copyright in Laws and Codes

We previously reported about the Clinic’s amicus advocacy in a pair of cases concerning copyrights in legal standards and model codes incorporated into law. We are pleased to report that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling yesterday in favor of Public.Resource.Org, the organization that we supported (on behalf of two different groups of amici) in the district and circuit courts.  

Featured

US v. Auernheimer

US v. AUERNHEIMER | No. 13-1816 | 3d Cir. July 8, 2013 | The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Digital Media Law Project, in support of defendant-appellant Andrew Auernheimer, arguing that Auernheimer’s conviction for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act should be overturned.  The charge against Auernheimer was escalated based on his alleged disclosure of information to a news website, thus violating the New Jersey computer intrusion statute.  By relying upon the New Jersey statute as a predicate offense, the brief argues, the court below punished Mr. Auernheimer for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.  As noted in the brief, “the First Amendment bars the escalation of penalties for the publication of true and newsworthy information under any circumstance that does not fall into any existing exception to First Amendment protection,” and “absent satisfaction of First Amendment scrutiny, the escalation applied in this case is unconstitutional.”