Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society Launches World Intermediary Liability Map to Educate the Public about Internet Regulation Worldwide

STANFORD, Calif., July 7, 2014—The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School launched a new online educational resource initiative called the “World Intermediary Liability Map,” or “WILMap”. The WILMap will educate the public about evolving Internet regulation affecting freedom of expression and user rights worldwide. The WILMap is spearheaded by Giancarlo Frosio, the Intermediary Liability Fellow at CIS.

Giancarlo Frosio – Resident Fellow – Intermediary Liability

“Legal liability regimes that put Internet platform companies at legal risk for users’ online activity can imperil free expression and innovation, even as governments seek to resolve very real policy problems,” said CIS Director of Civil Liberties, Jennifer Granick. CIS’ year-old initiative on intermediary liability explores the impact of intermediary liability on innovation and civil liberties.

“By their nature, Internet services are inherently global,” Frosio said. “But Internet companies face a real challenge understanding how those global regimes might regulate the services they offer to the public. This uncertainty can hurt users by potentially scaring companies away from providing innovative new services in certain markets. Additionally, companies may unnecessarily limit what users can do online, or engage in censorship-by-proxy to avoid uncertain retribution under unfamiliar laws.”

To this end, CIS has built the WILMap, a detailed English-language resource comprised of case law, statutes, and proposed laws related to intermediary liability worldwide. The WILMap allows visitors to the CIS website to select information on any country of interest through a graphical user interface. The map will enable the public to learn about intermediary liability regimes worldwide and to identify places where legal regimes balance—or fail to balance—regulatory goals with free expression and other civil liberties.

Today, the WILMap covers almost 50 jurisdictions in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. The WILMap is an ongoing project. In collaboration with a network of experts worldwide, CIS will continue to update and expand the map, with the goal of covering all jurisdictions.

This project has been made possible by a team of contributors, both individual researchers and institutions, providing the necessary information to set up the country pages. After the launch, CIS expects many other collaborators to join this project to create additional country pages, to update those already published, and to make the online resource as comprehensive and complete as possible.

To learn about intermediary liability rules worldwide, for a list of collaborators, and for information about joining the project, or otherwise contributing to the map, please visit the World Intermediary Liability Map or the CIS intermediary liability focus area.

About Giancarlo Frosio

Giancarlo F. Frosio is the Intermediary Liability Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Giancarlo is a qualified attorney with a doctoral degree (S.J.D.) in intellectual property law from Duke University Law School. Additionally, he holds an LL.M. with emphasis in intellectual property law from Duke Law School, an LL.M. in information technology and telecommunications law from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, and a law degree from Università Cattolica in Milan. His research focuses on copyright law, digitization, history of creativity, public domain, open access, Internet and user based creativity, intermediary liability of Information Service providers, network information economy, access to knowledge (A2K), and identity politics.

About Jennifer Granick

Jennifer Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Jennifer returns to Stanford after working with the internet boutique firm of Zwillgen PLLC. Before that, she was the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Jennifer practices, speaks and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, consumer privacy, data protection, copyright, trademark and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. From 2001 to 2007, Jennifer was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet intermediary liability, and Internet law and policy.

About the Center for Internet & Society

Led by Faculty Director Professor Barbara van Schewick, the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School and a part of Law, Science and Technology Program. CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry. CIS strives to improve both technology and law, encouraging decision makers to design both as a means to further democratic values. CIS provides law students and the general public with educational resources and analyses of policy issues arising at the intersection of law, technology and the public interest.

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, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.