Cyber Policy Center

cyber-hero-muted-blue landing page image

Cyber Policy Center

The Cyber Policy Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is Stanford University's premier center for the interdisciplinary study of issues at the nexus of technology, governance and public policy. Through research, policy engagement, and teaching, the Cyber Policy Center works to bring cutting-edge solutions to national governments, international institutions, and industry.

    Our Programs
  • Our Programs
  • Global Digital Policy Incubator
  • Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Program on Democracy and the Internet
  • Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance
  • The Program on Platform Regulation
  • Social Media Lab

Our Programs

The Cyber Policy Center is home to five programs, all focused on issues at the nexus of technology, governance and public policy. 

Global Digital Policy Incubator

The mission of the Global Digital Policy Incubator is to inspire policy and governance innovations that reinforce democratic values, universal human rights, and the rule of law in the digital realm. We serve as a collaboration hub for the development of norms, guidelines, and laws that enhance freedom, security, and trust in the global digital ecosystem. The bottom line question that guides this initiative: How do we help governments and private sector technology companies establish governance norms, policies, and processes that allow citizens and society to reap the upside benefits of technology, while protecting against the downside risks?

Stanford Internet Observatory

The Stanford Internet Observatory is a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies, with a focus on social media. Under the program direction of computer security expert Alex Stamos, the Observatory was created to learn about the abuse of the internet in real time, to develop a novel curriculum on trust and safety that is a first in computer science, and to translate our research discoveries into training and policy innovations for the public good.

Program on Democracy and the Internet

The Program on Democracy and the Internet envisions digital technologies supporting rather than subverting democracy by maximizing the benefits and minimizing the threats through changes in policy, technology, and social and ethical technological norms. Through knowledge creation and education, and by leveraging the convening power of Stanford University, PDI creates and shares original empirical research around how digital technologies are impacting democracy to inform and educate decision-makers in the field, including the next generation of technologists, business leaders, and policymakers. 

Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance

The Program on Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance (GTG) is dedicated to world-class scholarly and policy-oriented research on the political, legal, and economic implications of digital innovation and global competition. Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and a proliferation of smart, connected devices will revolutionize warfare and create new challenges and opportunities in statecraft. They will enable automation in countless domains, and lead to as of yet unknown applications that catalyze new industries and business models—and in the process, massively alter how economic value is created, captured and distributed, with ripple effects in the domestic politics of nations and the broader global political economy.

The Program on Platform Regulation

The Program on Platform Regulation, headed by Daphne Keller, focuses on current or emerging law governing Internet platforms, with an emphasis on laws’ consequences for the rights and interests of Internet users and the public.

Social Media Lab

The Stanford Social Media Lab works on understanding psychological and interpersonal processes in social media. The team specializes in using computational linguistics and behavioral experiments to understand how the words we use can reveal psychological and social dynamics, such as deception and trust, emotional dynamics, and relationships.

SEPTEMBER 16 | Technology and Geopolitics: EU Proposals for Regulating Rights, Security and Trade

The future of technology policy in Europe will be affected by growing nationalism and protectionism, cyber and national security threats, and great power rivalries. The aim of these workshops is to develop a more precise understanding of how the EU and its allies can collaborate to create compatible technology standards, build more resilient supply chain, and address novel opportunities and risks presented by emerging technologies. This event was organized by the Program on Democracy and the Internet (part of the Cyber Policy Center and the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society) and co-sponsored by the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

SEPTEMBER 14th YOUTUBE RECORDING | Reactions to New Proposals on End-to-End Encryption

On September 14, 2021 the Stanford Internet Observatory at the Cyber Policy Center, hosted a panel of speakers presenting views on new products and services intended to protect children in encrypted spaces. As part of their ongoing workshop series "Balancing Trust and Safety in End-to-end Encrypted Platforms," the Observatory facilitates open and productive dialogue on this divisive and controversial topic to find common ground and areas of compromise. The webinar will included remarks from representatives from academia (UC Berkeley, Stanford), Industry (Apple), civil liberties organizations (ACLU, CDT) and child safety organizations (NCMEC, Thorn). It was moderated by Alex Stamos.

Featured News and Publications from Our Programs

Julie Owono & Dr. Niousha Roshani

NEW PROJECT | Program on Democracy and the Internet Launches New Content Policy & Society Lab (CPSL)

The new project identifies solutions to the main challenges of moderating content online while respecting fundamental human rights.
man looking at computer

COMMENTARY | America’s Anti-Hacking Laws Pose a Risk to National Security

In a new article in Brookings, Riana Pfefferkorn examines the risks posed by anti-hacking laws in America
UW campus

FUNDING | The National Science Foundation Awards 3M to Collaborative UW and Stanford Team

A new grant aims to support a collaborative team of both Stanford and University of Washington researchers, as they explore new areas of study in the mis- and disinformation field.

Contact Us

Cyber Policy Center | Encina Hall | 616 Jane Stanford Way | Stanford University | Stanford, CA 94305-6165 | (650) 724-6814

web: | email: | twitter@stanfordcyber | youtubeCPC Channel

CPC Newsletter