Tyler Clementi Institute for Cyber Safety’s Ari Ezra Waldman
1. September 2010: Tragedy in Rutgers
The national media descends on Rutgers University where a gay student had jumped off the George Washington bridge after his roommate had used a spy cam to secretly capture and publish in an intimate act. His name was Tyler Clementi.
2. October 2015: New York Law School hosts The First Annual Tyler Clementi Internet Safety Conference
At this conference, New York Law School (NYLS) launched a first-of-its-kind direct outreach pro bono initiative that will help victims of online harassment obtain justice.
The main goals of the Institute are as follows:
- Eradicate cyber-harassment of New York City’s LGBTQ youth through direct outreach, pro bono legal services, education, and coalition building
- Train socially conscious New York City attorneys, with expertise in internet and digital technologies and applicable law, to use their knowledge and experience to support victims of online harassment
- Raise awareness about and help stop cyber-harassment by building coalitions among key stakeholders in New York City, New York State, and nationally, including those in government, industry, and education
- Propose the adoption of cutting edge and innovative solutions, program ideas, laws and safety tools to curtail and ultimately eradicate cyber-harassment
- Support vanguard social science research, adding value and filling gaps in our understanding of and responses to cyber-harassment
3. Ari Ezra Waldman
Ari Ezra Waldman is Associate Professor and the Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at NYLS. He is the Founder and Director of the Tyler Clementi Institute for CyberSafety, which includes the first-of-its-kind law school pro bono clinic representing victims of online harassment. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Harvard College.
His research and writing focus on privacy, hate and harassment on the Internet, online social networks, and intellectual property. His doctoral dissertation, which he is turning into a book, argues for a reorientation of privacy law and policy around the sociological principle of trust. Professor Waldman is a frequent speaker on data privacy and online harassment and often appears as an analyst on radio and television. His articles have been published in leading law reviews, including the Iowa Law Review, the Indiana Law Review, the University of Miami Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, the University of Maryland Law Review, and the Temple Law Review, to name a few. Before entering academia, Professor Waldman was an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Winston & Strawn LLP in New York, focusing on copyright, trademark, and appellate litigation.
He was recently named a Rising Star by New York Law Journal and has been featured on Syfy’s 6-episode miniseries, “The Internet Ruined My Life.”
4. New York Law School
New York Law School is one of the oldest independent law schools in the United States, located in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City. NYLS is renowned for its clinical programs and was recognized by The National Jurist as one of the best schools in the country for practical training in March 2014 and for having one the 15 most innovative clinics in the nation in January 2015.
Over the weekend, I attended a ceremony honoring Amy Ziering who produced two powerful documentaries: The Invisible War and the Oscar nominated The Hunting Ground dealing with rape in the military and on college campus’ respectively.
Then came the controversy over the lenient sentence given to unrepentant Stanford rapist Brock Turner and the release of the victim’s letter to the judge. There is now a campaign to recall Alan Persky, the judge in that case.
It is important to remember that this occurs in an environment where every 10 seconds, someone on Twitter calls a woman a ‘slut’ or ‘whore. We increasingly read reports of an internet that is hostile to women as demonstrated in Amanda Hess’ Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet. If we want to ensure that rapists are punished, we must address the culture that permits it.
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