Friday, September 21, 2007


Lauren Gelman Appointed Executive Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society

Source: Stanford Law School
STANFORD, Calif., Sept. 20, 2007-- Lauren Gelman has been appointed executive director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society (CIS), a public interest technology law and policy program that brings together scholars, legislators, students, programmers,and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can promote or harm public goods like free speech, privacy, public commons,diversity, and scientific inquiry.
Gelman previously was associate director of CIS. Prior to joining Stanford, Gelman was corporate counsel for Real Names Corporation. She also spent six years in Washington, D.C. as the public policy director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and as the associate director of public policy for Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's largest association of computer scientists. Gelman's predecessor, Jennifer Granick, is now civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and will continue at Stanford Law as a lecturer in law this fall.
"CIS represents real people in real projects that are changing the law," says Gelman, whose current research focuses on the legal implications of technologies like collaborative publishing and social networking tools, virtual worlds, and municipal wireless networks, that increase opportunities for personal expression. "I'm excited tobe taking the helm at this exciting time, when the potential of democratizing technologies is greater than ever."
Gelman's appointment comes during a period of intense activity for CIS. In September, CIS and Stanford Law's Cyberlaw Clinic scored a win in the Tenth Circuit when they successfully argued that the Copyright Term Extension Act and Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act ran a foul of their clients' First Amendment rights.Additionally, one of CIS's most recent initiatives, the Fair UseProject (FUP), this past year settled a copyright case against the Estate of James Joyce; won the dismissal of a copyright infringement action brought against a prominent electronic musician; and formed a partnership to provide legal support for documentary film makers.
Gelman's litigation achievements at CIS include her authorship of anamicus brief in Apple v. Does, where she represented bloggers in a case that resulted in a landmark decision granting blogs and online news sites the same legal protections as traditional media outlets inprotecting confidential sources. This year she represented Wired News in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Bureau of Customsand Border Protection that forced the agency to turn over documentsabout a security breach in border screening computers.
In addition to her work at CIS, Gelman teaches a course at Stanford Law School on Internet privacy, and has served on a variety of outside boards and committees, including the board of the non profit advocacy group Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight Working Group, which examined the privacy implications of the government's airline passenger screening program. She is also the dean and co-founder of the State of Play Academy (SOPA), an experimental online legal education program run by New York Law School that offers free classes in an immersive virtual world.
In her new role as executive director, Gelman will continue to expand CIS's litigation and advocacy efforts around free speech, innovation,security, and privacy. Specific issues the center plans to address this year include online participation in election campaigns; the relationship between courts and societies via virtual worlds; and launching a consumer privacy project.
"I'm thrilled to be working with Lauren, who brings considerable leadership and expertise to the position, and I look forward to continuing our work fostering laws and policies around technology that further democratic values," said Lawrence Lessig, director of CIS and Stanford Law professor.
CIS will continue to work on fair use cases and other collaborations with the Cyberlaw Clinic, which has moved under the umbrella of the Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law under the supervision of interim director and visiting professor of law Jennifer Urban. Urban comes to Stanford from USC, where she is clinical associate professor of law and director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic.
About Stanford Law School.

Stanford Law School is one of the nation's leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways ofteaching. The school's home page is located at

About the Center for Internet and Society

Founded by Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig in 2001, the Center for Internet and Society is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School which engages students, academics, technologists and policy makers in exploring the interactions between technology, law, and society.

Media Contact: Amy Poftak
Assistant Director of Communications
Stanford Law School, 650.725.7516 poftak (at)

Lauren Gelman Executive Director Center for Internet and Society
Stanford Law School(ph) 650-724-3358

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Cambridge, MA – The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School announces the Internet and Democracy Project, an initiative that will examine how the Internet influences democratic norms and modes, including its impact on civil society, citizen media, government transparency, and the rule of law, with a focus on the Middle East. Through a grant of $1.5 million from the US Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, the Berkman Center will undertake the study over the next two years in collaboration with its extended community and institutional partners. As with all its projects, the Berkman Center retains complete independence in its research and other efforts under this grant. The goal of this work is to support the rights of citizens to access, develop and share independent sources of information, to advocate responsibly, to strengthen online networks, and to debate ideas freely with both civil society and government. These subjects will be examined through a series of case studies in which new technologies and online resources have influenced democracy and civic engagement. The project will include original research and the identification and development of innovative web-based tools that support the goals of the project. The team, led by Project Director Bruce Etling, will draw on communities from around the world, with a focus on the Middle East. “Around the world, citizens are using the Internet to affect democracies in intriguing and important ways,” said co-Principal Investigator John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center. “But we don’t have a precise view of how this dynamic works. With the Middle East as our primary focus, our goal is to shed light on this phenomenon in constructive ways.”
We want to help develop and test simple, lightweight tools for civic engagement online – tools that facilitate coordination among people who share a common cause, and good faith dialogue among people who disagree,” said co-Principal Investigator, Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Center and Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University. This project is building on the experience of diverse Berkman Center initiatives aimed at examining the extent to which the Internet is fostering or undermining democratic institutions and processes around the world.
Through the generous support of other donors, the Berkman Center has undertaken projects that include: the H2O Project, which promotes the wide accessibility of academic discourse and teaching materials online; the Citizen Media Law Project, whose mission is to provide legal training and resources for individuals and organizations involved in citizen media as well as provide research and advocacy on free speech, newsgathering, intellectual property, and other legal issues related to citizen media, and; the OpenNet Initiative, which analyzes and documents Internet censorship and surveillance regimes worldwide, jointly with the University of Cambridge, the Oxford Internet Institute, and the University of Toronto.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is proud to celebrate its tenth year as a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is now home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at