A partnership between UCLA School of Law and UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, the Institute for Technology, Law & Policy examines the benefits and risks presented by technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, cybersecurity and digital media and communications.
These and other rapidly evolving technologies raise questions germane to the outcome of ethical and public policy issues, the applicability and utility of current laws and regulations that govern their use.
Information about past events can be found on our previous events page.
ITLP Small Grants Program
The UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy (ITLP) invites applications from students at all levels, as well as faculty, for interdisciplinary projects aimed at addressing a pressing technology and policy issue.
The goals of this small grants program include:
- Supporting the educational and professional development of UCLA students.
- Fostering inter-disciplinary research at UCLA.
- Generating innovating new solutions to challenges at the interface of law and technology.
For more information, please visit here: request for proposals.
The Destabilization Experiment
Social media has gone from being the savior of democracy to the scourge of democracy. How did it come to this?
The responsibility and power to hold the government and the private sector accountable for upholding democracy depends on the people.
People across Latin America and the Caribbean are organizing online. That space must be protected.
Political institutions, including the opposition parties, are reaching for any weapons they can find against the president’s use of social media and messaging apps.
The government has taken no action, and with elections approaching, Russia stands to directly influence the country’s political direction for its own benefit.
The platform must work with communities on the ground to design policies on moderation and be fully transparent about them.
The Philippines ranks first for social media use. Facebook's failure to curb abuses in the the Philippines shouldn't be met with laws targeting individual users.
Social media platforms alternate between ignoring disinformation and launching broad crackdowns on user speech.
Who We Are
- Executive Director
- Faculty Director
Jennifer L. MnookinRalph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law
Mark McKennaProfessor of Law
Faculty Co-Director, Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law
Edward A. ParsonDan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law
Faculty Co-Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Eugene VolokhGary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law
Clarice AielloClarice D. Aiello is a quantum engineer interested in how quantum physics informs biology at the nanoscale. She is an expert on nanosensors harnessing room-temperature quantum effects in noisy environments.
Achuta KadambiAchuta Kadambi received the PhD degree from MIT and joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor. His publications have been presented as Orals at CVPR, ICCV, ICCP and SIGGRAPH. He is currently co-authoring a textbook ("Computational Imaging", MIT Press 2021) and is also a co-founder in a robotic imaging startup (http://akasha.im). Achuta's research has received several recognitions including the NSF CAREER Award, Forbes 30 under 30 (Science), Google Faculty Award, Sony Imaging Young Faculty Award, and Army Young Investigator Award (ARO-YIP).
Alexandra MataProgram Coordinator
Leeza ArbatmanLeeza Arbatman is a student at UCLA Law. At ITLP she is conducting research on the scope of First Amendment protection for anonymous online expression. In law school, she has taken part in UCLA's First Amendment "Pop Up" Clinic and California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic, and served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before coming to UCLA, she worked for a criminal justice organization and interned at NPR member station KQED. She earned her undergraduate degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz.
Bharath GururagavendranBharath Gururagavendran is an LLM student at UCLA, specializing in International & Comparative Law. At ITLP, he is researching challenges to freedom of expression and privacy, stemming from the deployment of facial recognition technology, and questions concerning the regulation of social media. After completing his undergraduate law degree in India, he was the recipient of the LAMP (Legislative Assistant to Member of Parliament) Fellowship, and worked under Member of Parliament Shri. Asaduddin Owaisi. He is interested in researching challenges to Human Rights in the digital space from a Constitutional & International lens.
Leo HuangLeo Huang is a J.D. candidate at UCLA law. He is conducting research on privacy issues regarding facial recognition and freedom of expression concerns regulating social media at the Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy. In addition, he enjoys thinking about challenging legal and societal issues technologies brought forth. Before law school, Leo worked as a technical specialist at Finnegan, focusing on patent drafting and prosecution. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from National Tsinghua University.
Sarah KamranSarah Kamran is a third year law student at UCLA Law, with a J.D. expected May 2022. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and a B.A. in French in 2017. While at UCLA Law, she has focused primarily on intellectual property and technology law, and plans to practice law in that field following graduation
Lucia Chiban Zamar
Analysis of Pakistan's Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules, 2021 - A Report Written by ITLP Student Researchers and Executive Director, Michael Karanicolas
Mark Verstraete and Maria Lilla Montagnani, "What Makes Data Personal?," 56 U.C. Davis Law Review (forthcoming 2023).
Mark Verstraete and Tal Zarsky, "Cybersecurity Spillovers," 47 Brigham Young University Law Review (forthcoming 2022).
Mark Verstraete, Jane Bambauer, and Derek Bambauer, "Identifying and Countering Fake News," 73 Hastings Law Journal 821 (2022).
Leeza Arbatman and John Villasenor, "Anonymous Expression and "Unmasking" in Civil and Criminal Proceedings," 23 Minn. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 77 (2022).
Mark Verstraete and Tal Zarsky, "Optimizing Breach Notification," University of Illinois Law Review (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "A FOIA For Facebook," 66 Saint Louis University Law Journal (2021).
Mark Verstraete, "Inseparable Uses," 99 North Carolina Law Review 427 (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "Too Long; Didn't Read: Finding Meaning in Platforms’ Terms of Service Agreements," 51 University of Toledo Law Review 1 (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "Even in a Pandemic, Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant: COVID-19 and Global Freedom of Expression," 22 Oregon Review of International Law 101 (2021).
Virginia Foggo and John Villasenor, “Algorithms, Housing Discrimination, and the New Disparate Impact Rule,” 22 Columbia Science and Technology Law Review 1 (2021).
Virginia Foggo, John Villasenor, and Pratyush Garg, “Algorithms and Fairness,” 17 Ohio State Technology Law Journal 123 (2020).
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Artificial Intelligence, Due Process, and Criminal Sentencing," 2020 Michigan State Law Review 295 (2020).
Short articles, op-eds, and blogs
John Villasenor, "Why law professors should co-author academic articles with law students," ABA Journal, June 22, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "After Buffalo, will social media companies finally ban great replacement theory?," Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "Digging into the mystery of why Elon Musk is offering billions for Twitter," Financial Post, May 4, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "Could Elon Musk’s Takeover of Twitter Have a Silver Lining?" Centre for International Governance Innovation, May 4, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "The bright side of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover," AXIOS, April 30, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "Could Europe’s new laws rein in Elon Musk’s chaotic vision of free speech on Twitter?", Daily Dot, April 29, 2022
John Villasenor, "NFTs and Birkin bags: A Hermès lawsuit tests the limits of trademark rights," The Brookings Institution, April 21, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "Technology is Not Neutral. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine Made That Clear," Newsweek, March 14, 2022
Michael Karanicolas and Lucia Chiban Zamar, "Facial Recognition and Surveillance in Argentina," La Nacion, February 27, 2022
Courtney Radsch, "Tech Firms Caught in the Middle of Russia’s War on Ukraine," Tech Policy Press, February 28, 2022
John Villasenor, "Online college classes can be better than in-person ones. The implications for higher ed are profound," The Brookings Institution, February 10, 2022
Michael Karanicolas, "Spotify Discovers the Limits of Disruption," Barron's, February 4, 2022
John Villasenor, "The vital role of Twitter in responding to Covid," The Brookings Institution, January 4, 2022
John Villasenor, "Texas’ new social media law is blocked for now, but that’s not the end of the story," The Brookings Institution, December 14, 2021
John Villasenor, "Texas’s new social media law is likely to face an uphill battle in federal court," The Brookings Institution, November 9, 2021
Ally Boutelle and John Villasenor, “The European Copyright Directive: Potential impacts on free expression and privacy,” The Brookings Institution, February 2, 2021
John Villasenor, “Zoom is Now Critical Infrastructure. That’s a Concern,” The Brookings Institution, August 27, 2020
John Villasenor, "Soft Law as a Complement to Regulation," The Brookings Institution, July 31, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why creating an internet "fairness doctrine" would backfire," The Brookings Institution, June 24, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why Colleges Should Pool Teaching Resources," The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2020
John Villasenor, "Online college classes are here to stay. What does that mean for higher education?," The Brookings Institution, June 1, 2020
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Why a proposed HUD rule could worsen algorithm-driven housing discrimination," The Brookings Institution, April 16, 2020
John Villasenor, "Six Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester," The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2020
Rebecca Wexler and John Villasenor, "How well-intentioned privacy laws can contribute to wrongful convictions," The Brookings Institution, February 11, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why I Won't Let My Classes Be Recorded," The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2020
John Villasenor, "Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, and Information Integrity," The Brookings Institution and ISPI, January 2020
John Villasenor, "Preparing Today's Students for an AI Future," The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2019
John Villasenor, "Products liability law as a way to address AI harms," The Brookings Institution, October 2019
John Villasenor, "Deepfakes, social media, and the 2020 election," The Brookings Institution, June 3, 2019
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Algorithms and sentencing: What does due process require?," The Brookings Institution, March 21, 2019
John Villasenor, " Artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and the uncertain future of truth," The Brookings Institution, February 14, 2019
John Villasenor, "Artificial intelligence and bias: Four key challenges," The Brookings Institution, January 3, 2019