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.
Whether and when communications platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook are liable for their users’ online activities is one of the key factors that affects innovation and free speech. Most creative expression today takes place over communications networks owned by private companies. Governments around the world increasingly press intermediaries to block their users’ undesirable online content in order to suppress dissent, hate speech, privacy violations and the like. One form of pressure is to make communications intermediaries legally responsible for what their users do and say. Liability regimes that put platform companies at legal risk for users’ online activity are a form of censorship-by-proxy, and thereby imperil both free expression and innovation, even as governments seek to resolve very real policy problems.
In the United States, the core doctrines of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have allowed these online intermediary platforms user generated content to flourish. But, immunities and safe harbors for intermediaries are under threat in the U.S. and globally as governments seek to deputize intermediaries to assist in law enforcement.
To contribute to this important policy debate, CIS studies international approaches to intermediary obligations concerning users’ copyright infringement, defamation, hate speech or other vicarious liabilities, immunities, or safe harbors; publishes a repository of information on international liability regimes and works with global platforms and free expression groups to advocate for policies that will protect innovation, freedom of expression, privacy and other user rights.
Jennifer Granick fights for civil liberties in an age of massive surveillance and powerful digital technology. As the new surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, she litigates, speaks, and writes about privacy, security, technology, and constitutional rights.
Martin Husovec is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tilburg (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society & Tilburg Law and Economics Center). He is also a IMPRS-CI Doctoral Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society (CIS) and Impact Litigator at European Information Society Institute (EISi), an independent non-profit organization based in Slovakia focusing on the overlap of technology, law & society.
Paddy Leerssen was the Open Internet Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society in 2017-2018. AT CIS, he worked on digital media and communications law in general, and net neutrality policy in particular. He is now a PhD Candidate at the University of Amsterdam, where his dissertation focuses on the impacts of algorithmic content recommendations on the governance of media pluralism. Paddy holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar, an LL.M. from the University of Amsterdam, and an LL.B. from Maastricht University.
Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau is a Non-Residential Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. He was previously the Intermediary Liability Fellow at Stanford CIS. He was also head of the Center for Technology and Society (CTS) at the law school of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro (FGV DIREITO RIO), where he coordinated and conducted research on freedom of expression, intellectual property, Internet regulation, consumer rights and telecommunications regulation.