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Michael Froomkin
University of Miami School of Law

I am a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law.
Please visit my blog and ICANNWatch.
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The University of Miami is not actually in Miami, but in nearby Coral Gables.
Spot the semiotic signifiers in U.M.'s Rose Bowl commercial.
Here is the City Beautiful's homepage and a map of our neighborhood and a close-up. Visit our webcams and see our weather.
You can also visit my official homepage or an unofficial guide to Information Technology law at UM.
Plus, here's some unofficial advice about course selection in law school and some idiosyncratic writing tips.

Teaching Schedule 2005-2006            
Fall 2005
Administrative Law M Tu Th, 8:00am - 9:20, Rm. 108
Internet Law MW 11:00-12:20, Rm. 110
Spring 2006
On leave
Contact me if you are writing a paper on an Internet topic
Fall Semester Office Hour:TBA and by appointment

Latest items of interest on this  :
ICANN/Internet Governance

Visit for additional coverage of ICANN-related issues.  I also have a separate ICANN/WIPO page.


Other Projects

Essentially final (11/27/98) draft of my 2B as Legal Software for Electronic Contracting -- Operating System or Trojan Horse?.
Symposium: The Walls Have Eyes

I have acquired rights to the domain "" from the .TM domain registrar in Turkmenistan.

(Mostly) Legal Articles
E-commerce & Digital Cash
Administrative Law
Separation of Powers

Cryptography, the Clipper Chip, Key "Escrow"

It Came From Planet Clipper -- an update on the Key Escrow Wars... Now with a postscript concerning the October Encryption Initiative, AKA Clipper 3.11.

You can also read my original clipper article, The Metaphor is the Key: Cryptography, the Courts, and the Constitution which explains why mandatory key escrow would not be constitutional -- at least for private use of cryptography.   Clicking here will switch to either a frames or no-frames version, depending on your browser. If those files are too large for your browser, Hal Abelson of MIT has kindly hosted a chopped-up version that allows you to just download small parts at a time. .

A pdf version of a (very) short write-up of a talk called Digital Signatures Today that appeared in the Proceedings of Financial Cryptography '97.
You may also want to visit a paper I did not write: the cryptographers' report on the practicalities, costs, and even dangers of key escrow.

I did write part of a moot court problem based on an invented cryptography control statute.  Here is my imaginary really pro-Clipper court decision. You can also view the entire moot court problem, and hear a RealAudio transmission of the hearing. You can also hear a RealAudio of a panel on "Addressing Law Enforcement Concerns in a Constitutional Framework" recorded at the SAFE forum discussion of cryptographic export control, held July 1, 1996 at Stanford University. The nice people at CDT have also produced a transcript of that session. .

Flood Control on the Information Ocean: Living With Anonymity, Digital Cash, and Distributed Databases discusses the cryptographic foundations of anonymity, and the legal issues it raises.  You can click here for the no-frames version.

You can also see my somewhat dated article on Anonymity, published in the Journal of Online Law, which is updated in the Information Ocean paper mentioned above

Electronic Commerce, Digital Cash, Regulatory Arbitrage

The Next Economy?. An attempt to ask organized questions about the microeconomics of web commerce. Or rather, what effect web commerce might have on microeconomics.... (Written with Brad De Long).

My presentation to UM's 3rd International Tax Institute: The Internet: A Free Port in Every PC? (slides only).

Flood Control on the Information Ocean: Living With Anonymity, Digital Cash, and Distributed Databases has a survey of many types of digital cash and discusses the legal significance of some of the differences between them. You can click here for the no-frames version.

A pdf version of a (very) short write-up of a talk called Digital Signatures Today that appeared in the Proceedings of Financial Cryptography '97.

My e-cash "position paper" for CFP '97 on the Unintended Consequences of E-Cash.

The Essential Role of Trusted Third Parties in Electronic Commerce, which discusses Certification Authorities, certificates, digital signatures, and dips a cautious toe into the question of ... liability. Also available in a no frames version.

Here's a shorter and (I hope) more accessible article, which starts with the same technical material about anonymity as "Flood Control" but then takes it in a different direction. This essay is entitled The Internet as a Source of Regulatory Arbitrage; it appears as a chapter in Borders in Cyberspace (MIT Press, 1997).

Administrative Law

Reinventing the Government Corporation, an article with administrative law and constitutional law/separation of powers themes appeared in the Illinois Law Review in 1995. It discusses the legal issues raised by Sallie Mae, Fannie Mae, Comsat, TVA, Amtrak and other familiar but surprisingly poorly understood federal government corporations.

Separation of Powers

If you are interested in separation of powers, you can read my side of a debate on the role of the three branches of government. I first got interested in these issues when I wrote my student Note, In Defense of Administrative Agency Autonomy, 96 Yale L.J. 787 (1987).  Some time later the arguments in that note got attacked in fairly harsh terms in Steven G. Calabresi & Kevin H. Rhodes, The Structural Constitution: Unitary Executive, Plural Judiciary, 105 Harv. L. Rev. 1155 (1992).  I wrote a reply, The Imperial Presidency's New Vestments, which in turn sparked separate answers from each of the two authors of the Structural Constitution article.  My rebuttal article is called Still Naked After All These Words.  For some reason the rebuttal gets far more hits than the reply...

Here is the text of a book review I wrote called Climbing the Most Dangerous Branch: Legisprudence and the New Legal Process. It discusses theories of statutory interpretation and the first edition of a case book called CASES AND MATERIALS ON LEGISLATION: STATUTES AND THE CREATION OF PUBLIC POLICY written by William N. Eskridge, Jr, & Philip P. Frickey.


A short introduction to the CDA decision.
Text of law professors' letter opposing mandatory key escrow.

Hear an Internet audio version of my CFP '98 panel on Crypto and Privacy at the Fringes of Society or my CFP '95 panel, Can We Talk Long-Distance? Removing Impediments to Secure International Communications.

I wrote a WordPerfect 5.1 macro that converts a footnoted document into crude HTML with hyperlinked notes. The macro assumes that reveal codes is OFF, and that the document you want converted is in one window while the alternate document is empty. The macro does not fix headings (style codes do that well), nor does it do a table of contents. To fix bold and underline, find the CHANGECO macro provided with WP5.1 and change them to the appropriate HTML. An additional manual search and replace, plus some cutting up into separate documents, is needed to change this to a frames document.

This WP 5.1 macro will convert footnotes in a westlaw document into wordperfect footnotes. The Westlaw document must have been saved in WP 5.1 form. To run the macro, open the WP5.1 version of the downloaded file, type ALT-F10 then type WESTFN and hit the enter key. The macro assumes that reveal codes is OFF. It will strip off the excess headers and footers inserted by Westlaw into documents, but will leave the Westlaw copyright notice intact. If the macro is working you should see a progress report in the lower left hand corner of your screen. This macro is very simple-minded, and sometimes gets mixed up if there are atrociously long footnotes, so you do need to check the result. Looking at the final footnote to see if has the same number, and same text, as the original will usually but alas not inevitably tell you if things worked right. Even if they didn't, a small amount of manual tweaking will usually fix the resulting document.

Search Tools

U.S. Code  
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Look it up......
View all U.S. Supreme Court decisions 1937-1975; or search Supreme Court cases.
UK legislative, judicial and even (soon) administrative materials on-line and searchable
Maybe you want to search the Web, or search USENET, or visit Lawrence Livermore Labs list of lists. This national telephone directory is almost too good for my taste. The National Archives have a great web site.


Citation Search Title Search Full-Text Search

The Universal Currency Converter

Links to Stuff
Groups & causes
Past Teaching

Groups & Causes

Click on the blue ribbonClick on the gold key

I participate/lurk in several mailing lists. I am also a member of a few organizations.

See the list of select Nonprofit Organizations on the Internet.


The "acceptable use policy" adopted by our faculty to regulate computer usage at the law school.
Our local weather forecast, and the latest hurricane news

Past teaching

So far, I have taught or am teaching:
  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Electronic Commerce Seminar
  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Era Seminar
  • International Law
  • Internet and the State: Social and Political Regulation (Fall 2002)
  • Internet and the Market: E-Commerce & Intellectual Property (Spring 2002)
  • Internet Goverance Seminar
  • Jurisprudence
  • Trademark Law
  • I am also interested in:


    The DigiCrime Web Site promotes crypto-crime.

    Freespeech court decisionI used to have a spiffy background. Then it was a point of darkness in protest against the CDA (you can see the Final Conference Report). After the ACLU filed a complaint and a good brief on behalf
    of a variety of plaintiffs, and despite a well-written brief by the Justice Department supporting the CDA, the court issued a TRO covering part of the CDA, so I let in some light. When a three-judge court produced a superb decision, I let in much more light. Now that the Supreme Court has issued its ruling, things are still brighter....

    An official copy of The National Research Council's Report, "Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society" (CRISIS) is now available on line. It is very long, but it is essential reading if you are interested in the cryptographic policy debate. Click here for the unofficial copy. There is also an interesting paper by the Chair of the NRC committee reflecting on the report and its aftermath, which is available in PDF form or in postscript form.


    Read important legal documents
    See the large list of legal stuff or the State Department's private international law database.
    The U.M. Law Library offers many useful links,
    Hear oral arguments recorded at the Supreme Court,


    The DigiCrime Web Site.
    Feeling low? Click here for a surreal compliment, or read some lawyer jokes, or look at the long list of funny stuff from laughWEB or the Oracle humor archive. Here is a universal grade change form. If your case is very serious, and it seems as if you are sinking in a black hole, maybe this list of internet support groups might help.
    Track commercial airplanes in near real time

    Here is an incredible snooping opportunity. And, you can click here to find out what we know about you. Find out what type of encryption your browser supports. Your PC can talk now. And here's some other important information that's hard to find on the web...although I have found another version .

    Play URL Roulette, or take a random leap, or maybe you would like to check on how your stocks are doing, send a fax, or see what the Trilateral Commission and some intelligence agencies are up to. Make some maps!Look up some zip codes! Send a fax! The "Think Tank Times" that has pointers to lots of news organizations.

    Or, you can play Internet minesweeper, play Internet Rubik's cube, read a fortune cookie try the maze, read the first chapter of a lot of books, find an e-zine to read, or just get away from it all. Would you like to see how much information your browser discloses about you?

    Here is some information on how to become a law professor (under construction), on the joys of economics, postmodernism, quantum mechanics, and Keats.

    Click here to learn about Digital Futures, or the Iowa Electronic Markets. Or you could get your politics fix.

    Here are some miscellaneous links I have visited (under construction)

    I rely on the HTML Manual, but my page is nowhere as fancy as this one

    Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)

    If you use your computer too much, you can get Repetitive Strain Injury, a common form of which is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    Links to People

    [I just know too many people...]

    The high school I attended now has its own Web site; it seems to have gotten somewhat cooler than when I was there (and much more computerized!). There is also a web site for the college I attended (the fight song is kinda fun), the place I went to grad school, and the law school I attended and its library's better page. Now my wife and my brother have homepages too. My brother is the Editor of theWashington Post online aka My mom's office is on line too. Check out the genetic trail. Dad is now the lone holdout...

    My c.v. in Adobe Acrobat .pdf

    Contact Info

    You can send me mail by removing the XYXY's from my address.

    Experimental -- DO NOT RELY ON THIS: Send me private email via this web form:

    My PGP public key is available, but please don't send me encrypted mail unless you really have to (I decrypt off line and it's a pain). You can find more information on PGP here, or get the latest in home encryption technology by getting PGP Fone. Here is a useful page on remailers.
    Page last modified May 18, 2001. Non-standard disclaimers may apply. Beware of these fallacies...and and these too!
    This personal Web page is not an official University of Miami Web page. See disclaimer.
    according to the Web Counter.
    Passed the 10,0000 mark at 15:55 on Sept. 18, 1997; passed the 20,000 mark in early March, 1999; 30,000 sometime in early Jan., 2000; counting has been more and more inaccurate (undercounting) since then.


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