Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights. She has published both academically and in popular press; testified and participated in legislative processes; and taught and lectured extensively. Her recent work focuses on legal protections for users’ free expression rights when state and private power intersect, particularly through platforms’ enforcement of Terms of Service or use of algorithmic ranking and recommendations. Until 2015 Daphne was Associate General Counsel for Google, where she had primary responsibility for the company’s search products. She worked on groundbreaking Intermediary Liability litigation and legislation around the world and counseled both overall product development and individual content takedown decisions.
High Res Photo of Daphne Keller
This is the second of four posts on real-world consequences of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) rulings in Delfi v. Estonia and MTE v. Hungary. Both cases arose from national court rulings that effectively required online news portals to monitor users’ speech in comment forums. The first case, Delfi, condoned a monitoring requirement in a case involving threats and hate speech.
Last summer, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered a serious setback to free expression on the Internet. The Court held, in Delfi v. Estonia, that a government could compel a news site to monitor its users’ online comments about articles.* This winter, the Court’s lower chamber ruled the other way in MTE v.
The probably-really-almost-totally final 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here! Lawyers around the world have been hunkered down, analyzing its 200-plus pages. In the “Right to Be Forgotten” (RTBF) provisions, not much has changed from prior drafts.
Europe’s pending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) threatens free expression and access to information on the Internet. The threat comes from erasure requirements that work in ways the drafters may not have intended -- and that are not necessary to achieve the Regulation’s data protection purposes.
This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms.
On Tuesday, in a courtroom in Luxembourg, the Court of Justice of the European Union is to consider whether Google must enforce the “right to be forgotten” — which requires search engines to erase search results based on European law — everywhere in the world.
Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content.
If you paid attention to Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress last month, you might have gotten the impression that the internet consists entirely of titanic, California-based companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google. Congress is right to call these companies to account for outsize harms like disclosing personal data about many millions of users. But it is very wrong to act as though these companies are representative of the whole internet.
"But Canada’s Supreme Court has flipped this script with its globally-binding ruling. Daphne Keller, a director of Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, called it “much more far reaching than most” in an email.
"“It’s so easy to point to the need for internet companies to do more that that becomes a real rallying cry,” says Daphne Keller, the director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and a former associate general counsel to Google. “In European lawmaking, they don’t have very good tech advice on what’s really possible.
"According to Daphne Keller, a lawyer at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University, the Austrian ruling may be "dangerous and short-sighted" because it could embolden other countries to impose local laws everywhere on Facebook.
"Daphne Keller, who studies these things over at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society has both a larger paper and a shorter blog post discussing this, specifically in the context of serious concerns about how the Right To Be Forgotten (RTBF) under the GDPR will be implemented, and how it may stifle freedom of expression across Europe.
"However, Daphne Keller, the director of intermediary liability at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, questions whether machine monitoring is something we should even want to do.
"The idea that we can have an automated machine that can detect what's illegal from what's legal is pretty risky," Keller tells Lynch."
Stanford 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. Come hear CIS Directors Jennifer Granick + Daphne Keller and Resident Fellows Riana Pfefferkorn + Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau talk about our work, and the assistance CIS provides to students in learning about these issues, selecting courses, identifying job opportunities, and making professional connections.
After a lengthy legislative process, the GDPR is finally ready. As the most significant overhaul of data privacy laws in Europe in twenty years, it will have a profound impact on Silicon Valley technology companies offering online services in Europe. The recently announced Privacy Shield will affect most US organisations that receive personal information from Europe.
On this segment of “Quality Assurance,” I take a deep dive on platforms and regulating speech. I spoke with Daphne Keller, who is at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.
The question of what responsibility should lie with Internet platforms for the content they host that is posted by their users has been the subject of debate around in the world as politicians, regulators, and the broader public seek to navigate policy choices to combat harmful speech that have implications for freedom of expression, online harms, competition, and innovation.
Cybersecurity is increasingly a major concern of modern life, coloring everything from the way we vote to the way we drive to the way our health care records are stored. Yet online security is beset by threats from nation-states and terrorists and organized crime, and our favorite social media sites are drowning in conspiracy theories and disinformation. How do we reset the internet and reestablish control over our own information and digital society?
"Daphne Keller, a specialist in corporate liability and responsibility at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, says Facebook could face private lawsuits over privacy."