The Stanford Cyber Policy Center, a joint initiative of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford Law School, is Stanford University's research center for the interdisciplinary study of issues at the nexus of technology, governance and public policy focused on digital technologies impacting democracy, security, and geopolitics globally.
The Cyber Policy Center is home to six programs, all focused on issues at the nexus of technology, governance, law and public policy.
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?
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.
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.
A new program launched in 2023, the Program on Governance of Emerging Technologies was formed to shape the technical, ethical, and governance infrastructure of emerging technologies and the next-generation internet.
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.
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.