Cyberspace and the Law: What are Our Rights and Responsibilities?

2013 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship

2013 David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship

The 2013 David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship topic of Cyberspace and the Law: What are Our Rights and Responsibilities? can act in the classroom as a prepared Document Based Question. It was prepared in 2012 and the resources have not been updated since that time. For more information about recent legal developments, consult national and state newspapers, legal databases, and your librarian.

Most people agree that modern society has benefited in countless ways from the development of the Internet and other digital technologies. Cyberspace is such a valuable part of our everyday lives that we seldom stop to think about how our constitutional rights are impacted by it. Nonetheless, we are at a defining moment in history and decisions made today concerning the application of our Federal and State constitutional rights to cyberspace will impact our lives and those of future generations for better or for worse.

This activity meets the following guidelines of New York State’s Common Core Social Studies Framework (2017):

  • The United States in a Globalizing World: 11.11b
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: 12.G2d

Topic Background PDF


Below is a list of the 2013 resources in a searchable table. Search by theme of resource: cyberbullying, digital piracy, privacy in peril, or government surveillance.

United States v. Jones

565 U.S. 400 (2012) Summary coming soon! Read More ...
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People v. Weaver

12 N.Y.3d 433 (2009) Evidence gathered by means of a GPS suppressed because the police had no search warrant for ...
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The Judicial Response to Mass Police Surveillance

University of California, Berkeley Law School The increasingly widespread use of police technologies like surveillance cameras, facial recognition software, and ...
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Privacy, Law Enforcement, and National Security

The National Academies Press Chapter 9 of Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age focuses on electronic technology ...
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From Jones to Drones: How to Define Fourth Amendment Doctrine for Searches in Public

Privacy Law Scholars Conference Scholars on this panel each had five minutes to present a constitutional test that would balance ...
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Unwarranted! Privacy in a Technological Age

University of Southern California Gould School of Law Should law enforcement, without your knowledge and without a warrant, be able ...
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Is GPS Tracking An ‘Unreasonable Search?

NPR Law enforcement says “give us the tools.” Privacy advocates argue that electronic surveillance threatens Fourth Amendment rights. Listen Now ...
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The Roberson Privacy Controversy

Judicial Notice The Roberson Privacy Controversy tells the story of Abigail Roberson’s quest for justice as she sought protection of ...
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Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change

The Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission’s final report setting forth best practices for businesses to protect the privacy ...
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Expectations of Privacy in Social Media

Mississippi College Law Review Stephen Henderson examines expectations of privacy in social media such as weblogs (blogs), Facebook pages, and ...
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Surveillance Society

National Center for Biotechnology Information David Shenk maintains that we are, without question, headed into a world in which—mostly by ...
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I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy

American Bar Association Jouranl ABA Journal web producer Lee Rawles talks with Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You ...
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Sounds of Science: Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age

The National Academies Press Explores how the threats to privacy are evolving, how privacy can be protected and how society ...
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Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al. v. Tenenbaum

No. 10-1883 (1st Cir. 2011) Summary coming soon! Read More ...
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The Future of Music in a Digital Age: The Ongoing Conflict Between Copyright Law and Peer-to-Peer Technology

Campbell Law Review This article explains the issues that have surfaced as a result of the development of new technology ...
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Dimensions of P2P and Digital Piracy in a University Campus

Carnegie Mellon University Copyright industries are the main victims of illegal file sharing. Industry representatives claim that it costs billions ...
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Statutory Damage Awards in Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Cases Involving Copyrighted Sound Recordings: Recent Legal Developments

Congressional Research Service While P2P file sharing technology could be used for legitimate purposes, P2P users most often copy and ...
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Copyright Infringement and Enforcement in the USA: Research Note

The American Assembly at Columbia University This research note explores what Americans do with digital media, what they want to ...
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International Online Piracy Panel

UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations Summary coming soon! Listen Now ...
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Rutgers Trial: Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail

ABC News Summary coming soon! Read More ...
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Constitutionality of Cyberbullying Laws: Keeping the Online Playground Safe for Both Teens and Free Speech

Vanderbilt Law Review In the absence of cyberbullying laws, victims can resort only to tort law and certain criminal laws ...
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How Public Schools Can Constitutionally Halt Cyberbullying: A Model Cyberbullying Policy that Survives First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Due Process Challenges

Wake Forest Law Review Even where States have passed legislation dealing with cyberbullying, little direction is available on the type ...
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Cyberbullying: Emerging Realities and Legal Challenges – Video

Missouri Law School The first panel speaks broadly about cyberbullying. The second speaker, whose presentation begins at 43:00, discusses controlling ...
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Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Help Protect Students from Cyberbullying

NYS Office of the Governor New York's cyberbullying law went into effect on July 1, 2013; read this press release ...
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