Faculty Spotlight

Prof. Heverly Examines Internet Kill Switch

Professor Robert Heverly

View Archives


“The boundaries we perceive between man and machine are meaningless, and attempting to sever that connection is like cutting off an arm or a leg,” Professor Robert Heverly told a group of faculty at a recent workshop. “The power to shut off the embodied Internet gives the President the power to kill a part of us." 

Professor Heverly delivered a talk on his paper-in-progress, "Killing the Cyborg: Internet Kill Switch Authority and the Embodied Internet," at the most recent installment of the law school's Faculty Workshop Luncheon Series. The paper examines the implications of legislation allowing the President to shut down the Internet in times of national emergency.

Turning off the Internet "means more than simply limiting citizens' means of communication," Professor Heverly said. "By acknowledging that the Kill Switch actually kills a part of us, we can fully acknowledge the implications of placing in a branch of government the explicit authority to do just that."

Professor Heverly will also participate in a panel on "The Legal and Policy Implications of an Internet Kill Switch" at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

With research and teaching interests spanning property and land use law, intellectual property and copyright law, and cyberspace and communications law, Professor Robert Heverly is active at academic conferences and other events across the country, delivering presentations on cyber-security, net neutrality and international cyber law, among other topics.

At Albany Law School, Professor Heverly teaches International and Comparative Intellectual Property, Cyberspace Law, Property, Torts and Entertainment Law.

Before rejoining the Albany Law faculty, Professor Heverly was most recently a visiting professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law. Previously, he was lecturer in law and director of the LL.M. Programme in Information, Technology and Intellectual Property at the Norwich Law School of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England, as well as a fellow with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, where he retains an affiliation as a faculty fellow. From 1992 to 2001, he served as assistant director of Albany Law School's Government Law Center.

Robert Heverly