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.
This session will explore jurisdiction in an increasingly post-Westphalian paradigm. Ideas of territorial jurisdiction are being tested (and brought into question) in an increasingly connected online world.
What and whom should the Internet forget? Who should decide? Can search engines be trusted as the guardians and censors of the online world? How are individual interests best protected on the internet? How can we strike the balance between privacy and freedom of expression online? Has privacy won the draw, in the internet information age?
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. Read more about General Data Protection Regulation Seminar
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This talk will introduce the basic concepts of European data protection and privacy law and explore the fundamental differences between the European and US approaches, including by examining recent events (e.g., the Schrems case, the EU/US Privacy Shield, and the General Data Protection Regulation). Read more about Introduction to European Data Protection and Privacy