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Law institute is started in honor of Tyler Clementi to represent cyberbullying victims


OCTOBER 4, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015, 12:29 AM

NEW YORK — In the five years since Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, concerns about online bullying and harassment have only increased as daily interactions are mediated more and more by technology.

Victims of online abuse — in the form of threats, personal data breaches or “revenge pornography” — often feel powerless to hold aggressors accountable, given the anonymity that the Internet provides and an opaque regulatory environment that lags advances in technology.

On Saturday, the New York Law School launched the Tyler Clementi Institute for Internet Safety, the country’s first pro bono clinic at a law school that represents victims of what is commonly known as cyberbullying. The institute, started in coordination with the Tyler Clementi Foundation and run by Celementi’s parents, aims to make lawyers available in all 50 states who will advocate on behalf of victims in schools, corporate settings and courts.

“It’s very encouraging,” said Clementi’s father, Joseph. “The Internet now allows people to make comments, post photographs, do all kinds of things that are in cyberspace forever and can be constantly referred to by anyone who chooses to look at it. The humiliation is amplified.