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Jonathan Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain

Founding director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society

One of the world’s leading scholars and voices on the impact of digital technology –from the Internet of Things to Big Data, to artificial intelligence, cyber threats andsecurity – Jonathan Zittrain employs decades of experience interrogating andinfluencing the legal, technological and world-shaping aspects of virtual terrains.A highly regarded teacher, speaker and master moderator, Zittrain provides diverseaudiences with an inside look at the future of work, and what to expect from recentadvances in AI and digital platforms. Named a “100 Top Global Thinker” (ForeignPolicy, 2012), he is a founding director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center forInternet and Society, where he anchors various disciplines throughout Harvard asprofessor of international law and director of the Harvard Law School Library, the largestprivate law library in the world; professor of computer science at the Harvard School ofEngineering and Applied Sciences; and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School ofGovernment. Prior to joining Harvard, he was Professor of Internet Governance andRegulation at Oxford University.

Zittrain has advised the U.S. government and also is a member of the boards of theElectronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Intellectual Property Watch, with a uniqueperspective on how policymakers grapple with cutting-edge issues such as privacy andcybersecurity. His wide-ranging research projects at Harvard give him insight into arange of digital infrastructure issues, including censorship and filtering for contentcontrol, privacy and free speech. His book, “The Future of the Internet – And How toStop It” (Yale University Press and Penguin UK, 2009), was, in the words of critics, an“essential” work, a “resounding wake-up call” to arms to protect the Internet’s opennessby rescuing it from forces that wish to constrain or privatize it – forces gaining inmomentum today.

Furthering this cause, Zittrain co-edited three ground-breaking studies that were the firstto quantify Internet filtering by national governments, all published by MIT Press:“Access Denied” (2008), “Access Controlled” (2010), and “Access Contested” (2011).Among his other future-thinking digital initiatives are projects to produce simple,unobtrusive, and novel collaborative tools for university classrooms (H2O); to supportopen content by tracking legal threats to individual users (lumendatabase.org); tomonitor Internet censorship in real time (thenetmonitor.org), and to combat extensivelink rot throughout the Web (Perma.cc).As a sought-after advisor to governments and organizations, Zittrain chaired the U.S.Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet Advisory Committee. He has alsoserved on the Board of Advisors for Scientific American and is a former Trustee of theInternet Society (ISOC). For more than 10 years, he has been a faculty fellow of theWorld Economic Forum, where he was named a Young Global Leader, chairing theGlobal Agenda Council on the future of the Internet. In 2017, Zittrain was elected as amember of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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