The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is an intellectual center that explores the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society. The ISP is guided by the values of democracy, development, and civil liberties. Our work includes copyright, media law and policy, transparency, and privacy.

Upcoming Events

Abrams: First Amendment Salon

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 12:30pm


All Yale Law Students are invited to join with about 25 invitees at interconnected venues in Washington, D.C. and New York in participating in the first Salon of the 2016-17 academic season.

Law & Tech: Laura Donohue

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 12:00pm

The Fourth Amendment in a Digital World

Fourth Amendment doctrines created in the 1970s and 1980s no longer reflect how the world works.  The formal legal distinctions on which they rely—(a) private versus public space, (b) personal information versus third party data, (c) content versus non-content, and (d) domestic versus international—are failing to protect the privacy interests at stake.  Simultaneously, reduced resource constraints are accelerating the loss of rights.  The doctrine has yet to catch up with the world in which we live.  One potential solution to adapting the Fourth Amendment to the digital age lies in acknowledging the acquisition of uniquely identifiable information as per se a search, and thus presumptively unreasonable absent a warrant.  This approach is rooted in the right of the people to be secure in their “persons” as well as “papers” and “effects” against unreasonable search and seizure.  The Court’s logic inRiley v. California and interests articulated by the shadow majority in United States v. Jones offer promising ways to evaluate reasonableness by focusing on the type and extent of information being collected, the length of the collection, the combination of the data with other information, and the number of individuals whose privacy is thereby compromised, as weighed against the governmental interests at stake.