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.
Imagine that a random car is periodically driving across your front yard, leaving tire treads and gouges on your otherwise pristine lawn. How would you handle it? You might set up a surveillance camera to capture an image of the license plate and driver and then share the image with the police. You might install a fence.
SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, would overhaul US intermediary liability law and potentially expose hundreds of thousands of US platforms to new civil and criminal claims. Its exact legal consequences are uncertain, because the bill is so badly drafted that no one can agree on its meaning. But SESTA’s confusing language and poor policy choices, combined with platforms’ natural incentive to avoid legal risk, make its likely practical consequences all too clear.
Ed. Note: This article is the latest in our series on the U.S. Supreme Court case Jesner v. Arab Bank, a case that is slated to resolve the question of whether corporations can be sued under international law for human rights violations and terrorism. Oral arguments were held October 11th.
Stefaan Verhulst is the chief research and development officer, and Andrew Young is the knowledge director at the Governance Laboratory at New York University. Together, they have written a recent report on the role that social media data can play in the nonprofit sector. I asked them a series of questions about it.