About Us

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.  CIS also sponsors a range of public events including a speakers series, conferences and workshops. CIS was founded by Lawrence Lessig in 2000.

CIS Faculty & Staff

Barbara van Schewick - CIS Faculty Director; Professor of Law and (by courtesy) Electrical Engineering

Elaine Adolfo - CIS Associate Director

Ryan Singel - Open Internet Fellow


We are also fortunate to have the support of our CIS Non-Resident Fellows and Affiliates, who provide critical contributions to CIS and its mission.


Funding and Support Policies

Salary, research support, and travel* for CIS Faculty Director Barbara van Schewick is funded through the general budget of the law school and is independent of CIS. Beyond this, CIS is partly funded through the general budget of the law school. CIS also receives funding through the support of individual and organizational donors, through foundation grants, through awards of attorney's fees obtained from time to time in connection with its litigation work, and through cy pres settlements.

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. Both as a matter of its deep commitment to the integrity of its scholarship and of Stanford University policy, CIS adheres to these policies. All donors to the Center agree to give their funds as unrestricted gifts. When we receive grants from foundations, we spend the money in accordance with the budget proposed in the grant application and we report to the foundation on the results or accomplishments we obtained as a result of any efforts supported by that funding.

In sum, CIS does not accept grants, donations, or any other support that would limit our ability to conduct our research or any other work we do free of outside influence.

Current CIS Donors:
Google, Inc.
Knight Foundation
Microsoft Corporation
New Venture Fund
Stanford Cyber Initiative

Current CIS Grantmakers
MacArthur Foundation

Past CIS Donors:
Bosch Corporation
California I.S.P. Association, Inc.
Daimler (Mercedes-Benz)
Facebook, Inc.
National Internet Alliance
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
State Farm
The Rose Foundation
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Volvo Cars

Past CIS Grantmakers

National Science Foundation

Cy Pres Settlements:
Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, NO. 15-md-02669-JAR - United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri

Fraley, et al. v. Facebook, In.c, et al., Case No. 11-cv-01726 (2016) - United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Katie Owusu, et al. v. MyTechHelp, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-cv-00896-DW (2015) - United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation - Case No. 5:10-cv-04809-EJD (2013) - United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division

Quantcast Advertising Cookie Litigation, Clearspring Flash Cookie Litigation (2011) - Case No. 2:10-cv-07112-GW - United States District Court, Northern District of California

Netflix Privacy Litigation, Case No. 5:11-cv-00379 (2011), United States District Court, Northern District of California

Google Buzz Privacy Litigation - Case No. C 10-00672JW (2011) - United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division

*This only applies if travel is not covered by event organizers.