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

Publication Date: 
September 20, 2007
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 RealNames 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 to be 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 afoul of their clients’ First Amendment rights. Additionally, one of CIS’s most recent initiatives, the Fair Use Project (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 filmmakers.

Gelman’s litigation achievements at CIS include her authorship of an amicus 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 in protecting confidential sources. This year she represented Wired News in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection that forced the agency to turn over documents about 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 nonprofit 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, 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 of teaching. 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