"US laws around hate on the internet date back to the earliest chat rooms and bulletin boards. By the '90s, they'd begun to address electronic harassment. But the laws were narrow and generally addressed a method, say harassment over the phone, rather than a broad range of intimidating behavior, says Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and author of the book "Hate Crimes in Cyberspace." And they aren't used often, she says.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.