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John Palfrey

  • iPhone 11 Pro showing Social media applications on its screen

    Should the internet be treated like a public utility?

    April 20, 2021

    At the annual Klinsky Lecture, Visiting Professor John G. Palfrey ’01, president of the MacArthur Foundation, says we need a regulatory regime for technology.

  • Helping your child make the best use of time online

    December 15, 2020

    Teenagers spend an average of nine hours a day online, and many parents worry about the impact of screen time on their children. There is no need to worry, said digital experts Urs Gasser and John Palfrey, authors of the newly released book “The Connected Parent: An Expert Guide to Parenting in a Digital World.” The Gazette spoke with Gasser, professor of practice at Harvard Law School and executive director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and Palfrey, president of the MacArthur Foundation and former faculty director of the center, on ways parents can embrace the philosophy of “connected parenting” and help children be safe online and make the most of new media and technology.

  • Connected Parent Zoom panel

    ‘The Connected Parent’ offers guidance, insight into digital parenting

    November 16, 2020

    “The Connected Parent,” a new book by John Palfrey ’01 and Urs Gasser LL.M. ’03  is a practical guide for addressing concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and navigating an increasingly digital world.

  • book cover of The Connected Parent

    Books in Brief: Fall 2020

    October 20, 2020

    New works on redeeming the administrative state, navigating parenting in a world in which children are immersed in technology, and understanding the importance of understanding how much information you need.

  • Cyberlaw Clinic turns 20

    April 9, 2020

    It was 1999 and the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Corporations were scrambling to address new legal challenges online. Napster was testing the music industry. And at Harvard Law School, the Berkman Klein Center was creating a clinical teaching program specializing in cyberlaw.

  • Portrait of John Palfrey at Philips Academy at Andover

    Former HLS professor John Palfrey ’01 takes over the MacArthur Foundation

    September 25, 2019

    The Harvard Gazette recently spoke with John Palfrey '01, former professor and vice dean for Library and Information Resources at HLS, and former executive director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society about how his Harvard time prepared him for his new role to lead one of the country’s largest philanthropic organizations.

  • Michelle Carter: What the texting suicide case tells us

    June 19, 2017

    Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for sending 18-year-old Conrad Roy dozens of text messages that encouraged him to commit suicide. He died in 2014 of carbon monoxide poisoning, after he drove to a secluded parking lot and killed himself. Many legal experts were surprised by the judge's decision, and say from the very onset this was a very strange case, compounded by intense media scrutiny...John Palfrey, the headmaster of the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, a law professor and co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, says many adolescents feel an emotional disconnect when using their devices and will say many hurtful things they'd never say in person. "I think the hard news for young people and their parents is things that young people do everyday on text or social media have extraordinary consequences - those can be life and death consequences, or that can be legal consequences," he says.

  • Jonathan Zittrain and students

    HLS and MIT Media Lab launch innovative course on law and regulation in the digital world

    February 22, 2017

    For the first time, Harvard Law School and the MIT Media Lab have collaborated to host an innovative January-term course, “Internet & Society: The Technologies and Politics of Control,” dedicated to understanding the legal and technical dynamics of the digital world.

  • Urs Gasser and John Palfrey on stage

    ‘Born Digital’ Redux

    December 20, 2016

    Earlier this year Urs Gasser, professor of practice and executive director of the Berkman Klein Center, and John Palfrey, Center director and former HLS professor published 'Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age,' an expansion of their critically acclaimed 2008 book 'Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives.'

  • Screenshot of the internet monitor dashboard showing percent online 27%, broadband adoption 1%, and other statistics.

    Berkman Center launches new internet data dashboard

    September 30, 2015

    Internet Monitor dashboard, a freely available tool that helps identify trends in Internet activity through data visualization, has been launched by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

  • Author explains why libraries matter even in the internet age

    September 21, 2015

    Today, when people want information on the Internet, they turn to Google...All of this is good news for Google and anyone with money for a computer and Internet connection. But it's not great for libraries, the go-to for information in the pre-Google days, says John Palfrey, a director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and founder of the Digital Public Library of America. In his new book, "Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google," Palfrey argues that society still needs libraries for many reasons, including that the Internet doesn't provide free access to information for anyone as libraries do.

  • Professor John Palfrey portrait

    John Palfrey on the importance of libraries in the digital information age (video)

    June 30, 2015

    On June 22 at Harvard Law School, John Palfrey '01, director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, spoke about his new book, "BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever In An Age of Google." Palfrey, who previously served as vice dean for Libraries and Information Resources at Harvard Law School, made the case that libraries are more relevant than ever in

  • A Theory of Connectivity

    A Theory of Connectivity: Gasser and Palfrey on the opportunities and pitfalls of our increasingly interconnected world

    December 11, 2012

    The highly connected nature of today’s world has all sorts of benefits—but all sorts of potential costs as well, from loss of control of private data to a world financial system so intertwined that when one part of it falls, it’s hard to keep other parts from toppling along with it. In “Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems,” John Palfrey ’01 and Urs Gasser LL.M. ’03 draw on their work at the HLS Berkman Center for Internet & Society to start developing a “normative theory identifying what we want out of all this connectivity.”

  • In a hands-on workshop, students use case studies to explore information law and policy

    December 5, 2012

    Based on a workshop taught at Harvard Law School for the first time last spring by Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 and John Palfrey ’01, Information Law and Policy: Advanced Problem Solving Workshop (taught this fall by Visiting Professor Susan Crawford) presents students with several case studies and asks them to complete team exercises, which include conducting negotiations, writing legal briefs, and drafting policies and legislation.

  • Case studies developed at HLS available through new website

    July 31, 2012

    Harvard Law School has launched a new program to develop and distribute case studies, role plays, hypothetical problems and other experiential tools for the classroom. The centerpiece of the program is a website designed as a one-stop-shop for all participant-centered teaching tools developed and sponsored by HLS.

  • Harvard Law School Media Roundup: From Gun Control to the Roberts’s Court to the Arab Spring

    July 26, 2012

    Over the past week, a number of HLS faculty members shared their viewpoints on events in the news. Here are some excerpts.

  • Recent Faculty Books – Summer 2012

    July 1, 2012

    “After Sex? On Writing Since Queer Theory” (Duke), edited by Professor Janet Halley and Andrew Parker. Contributors to the development of queer studies offer personal reflections on the potential and limitations of the field, asking to what extent it is defined by a focus on sex and sexuality.

  • Interop book cover

    Palfrey and Gasser book launch: ‘Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems’

    June 13, 2012

    Harvard Law School Professor John Palfrey ’01 and Urs Gasser LL.M. '03, lecturer on law and executive director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, launched their latest book, Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems, at a May 30 event hosted by the Berkman Center, the Harvard Law School Library and the Harvard Book Store.