I&J contributed

Published on
October 11, 2016

Internet, Law, and National Sovereignty

On October 24, 2016, Internet & Jurisdiction’s Bertrand de La Chapelle joined a renowned panel of experts to speak at the Law, Borders, and Speech event. The one-day conference was held at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, California. 

This event celebrated the twentieth anniversary of David G. Post and David R. Johnson’s seminal article, "Law and Borders." In 1996, the authors wrote:

The rise of the global computer network is destroying the link between geographical location and: (1) the power of local governments to assert control over online behavior; (2) the effects of online behavior on individuals or things; (3) the legitimacy of the efforts of a local sovereign to enforce rules applicable to global phenomena; and (4) the ability of physical location to give notice of which sets of rules apply.

Post and Johnson proposed that national law must be reconciled with self-regulatory processes emerging from the network itself. I&J's Bertrand de La Chapelle joined David Post and David Johnson on the "Big Picture Panel" opening the event, which addressed the following questions:

  • Twenty years on, what have we learned? 
  • How are we reconciling differences in national laws governing speech, and how should we be reconciling them? 
  • What are the responsibilities of Internet speakers and platforms when faced with diverging rules about what online content is legal? 
  • Do users have relevant legal rights when their speech, or the information they are seeking, is legal in their own country? 


Bertrand de La Chapelle

Executive Director

Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network

David Johnson



Andrew McLaughlin

Head of Content

Medium NYC

David Post

Retired Professor of Law

Temple University's Beasley School of Law

Paul Sieminski

General Counsel


Nicole Wong

Senior Advisor

Albright Stonebridge Group

About the Center for Internet and Society

The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School is a public interest technology law and policy program which focuses on the interaction of new technologies, innovation, and the law. CIS brings together a wide array of stakeholders from around the globe, including scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists, with the ultimate aim of improving both technology and law and furthering democratic values.

Conference Participants

Annemarie Bridy

Affiliate Scholar

Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Bruce D. Brown

Executive Director

Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press

Agustina Del Campo


Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information

Anupam Chander

Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law

University of California, Davis, School of Law

James Dempsey

Executive Director

Berkeley Center for Law & Technology

Juniper Downs

Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations


David Drummond

Senior Vice President


Albert Gidari

Director of Privacy

The Center for Internet and Society (CIS)

Mike Godwin

Senior Fellow

R Street Institute

Jennifer Granick

Director of Civil Liberties

Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS)

Joseph Lorenzo Hall

Chief Technologist

Center for Democracy & Technology

Min Jiang

Associate Professor of Communication

UNC Charlotte

Nathaniel Jones

Assistant General Counsel


Amy Keating

Senior Legal Director


Daphne Keller

Director of Intermediary Liability

Stanford Law School, Center for Internet and Society

Ross Kirschner

Head of Content Policy


Uta Kohl

Senior Lecturer

Aberystwyth University

Emma Llansó

Director, Free Expression Project

Center for Democracy and Technology

Dean Marks

Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief, Global Content Protection

Motion Picture Association of America

Corynne McSherry

Legal Director

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Luiz Moncau

Intermediary Liability Fellow

Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Mathias Moulin

Deputy Director - Rights Protection & Sanctions

CNIL - Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés

Kyung-sin Park



Jason Pielemeier

Policy Director

Global Network Initiative (GNI)

Paul Schabas


Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Lea Shaver

Professor of Law and Dean's Fellow

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Graham Smith


Bird & Bird LLP

Dan Svantesson

Co-director of the Centre for Commercial Law

Bond University

Marketa Trimble

Samuel S. Lionel Professor of Intellectual Property Law

William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Joris van Hoboken

Research Fellow

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam