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.
Moderated Content host Evelyn Douek discusses Twitter’s data security problems and what this says about privacy regulation more generally with Whitney Merrill, the Data Protection Officer and Privacy Counsel at Asana and long-time privacy lawyer including as an attorney at the FTC, and Riana Pfefferkorn, a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory.
Daphne Keller of the Program on Platform Regulation writes about the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA), a major milestone in the history of platform regulation. Other governments are now asking themselves what the DSA’s passage means for them. The post briefly discusses that question, with a focus on platforms like Facebook or YouTube and their smaller would-be rivals. Published in Verfassungsblog.
Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory writes about the growing body of research suggesting human behavior on social media is strikingly similar to collective behavior in nature. Published in Noema Magazine.
Charles Mok is an internet entrepreneur and IT advocate. He was formerly a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and founded the Hong Kong chapter of the Internet Society. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University. This article appeared in OPTF.
Stanford Internet Observatory collaborated with Graphika to analyze a large network of accounts removed from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our latest report. This information operation likely originated in the United States and targeted a range of countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Following the success of The China Questions, a new volume of insights from top China specialists explains key issues shaping today’s United States–China relationship. Graham Webster of the DigiChina Project authored "What Is at Stake in the US–China Technological Relationship?" for the book.
In an essay for Lawfare Blog, Samantha Bradshaw, Renee DiResta and Christopher Giles look at how state war propaganda in Russia is increasingly prevalent on platforms that offer minimal-moderation virality as their value proposition.