Founded in 2000 by Lawrence Lessig, the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School and a part of Law, Science and Technology Program at Stanford Law School. CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry. CIS strives to improve both technology and law, encouraging decision makers to design both as a means to further democratic values. CIS provides law students and the general public with educational resources and analyses of policy issues arising at the intersection of law, technology and the public interest. Through the Fair Use Project, CIS also provides legal representation to clients in matters that raise important issues of free expression, civil rights and technology. CIS also sponsors a range of public events including a speakers series, conferences and workshops.
CIS Faculty & Staff
Barbara van Schewick – CIS Faculty Director; Associate Professor of Law and (by courtesy) Electrical Engineering
Julie A. Ahrens – Director, Copyright and Fair Use
Jennifer Granick - Director, Civil Liberties
Aleecia McDonald - Director, Privacy
Elaine Adolfo - CIS Associate Director
Giancarlo Frosio - Resident Fellow, Intermediary Liability
Bryant Walker Smith - Residential Fellow, Center for Internet & Society and Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS)
We are also fortunate to have the full-time assistance of CIS Legal Assistant Amanda Avila and the support of our CIS Non-Resident Fellows and Affiliates, who provide critical contributions to CIS and its mission.
Funding and Support Policies
Both as a matter of its deep commitment to the integrity of its scholarship and Stanford University policy, CIS does not take money for academic research (or anything else) with strings attached. All donors to the Center agree to give their funds as unrestricted gifts, for which there is no contractual agreement and no promised products, results, or deliverables. Research at CIS, Stanford Law School, and Stanford University is driven by faculty interest, initiative and direction, and Stanford has strict guidelines for maintaining its academic autonomy and research integrity. Stanford policies provide explicit protection against sponsors who might seek to direct research outcomes or limit the publication of research.
In short, CIS does not accept grants, donations, or any other support that would limit our ability to carry out our research, or any of the other work we do, free of outside influence.
CIS is partly funded through the general budget of the law school. Beyond that, we are fortunate to enjoy the support of individual and organizational donors, including generous support from Google, Inc. Like all donors to CIS, Google has agreed to provide funds as unrestricted gifts, for which there is no contractual agreement and no promised products, results, or deliverables. To avoid any conflict of interest, CIS avoids litigation if it involves Google.
CIS also receives funding through awards of attorney’s fees obtained from time to time in connection with its litigation work and through cy pres settlements. Salaries and research support for Stanford Law School Faculty associated with CIS are funded through the general budget of the law school and are independent of CIS.
CIS donors include:
California I.S.P. Association, Inc.
KamberLaw, LLC (result of a cy pres settlement)
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robins LLP (result of a cy pres settlement)
National Internet Alliance
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Perkins Cole LLP (result of a cy pres settlement)
The Rose Foundation
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.