Jonathan L. Zittrain

George Bemis Professor of International Law

Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources

Faculty Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

Professor of Computer Science, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Professor, Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government

Biography

Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director of the Harvard Law School Library, and Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.  

He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia, and as part of the OpenNet Initiative co-edited a series of studies of Internet filtering by national governments: Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering; Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace; and Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberpace.  

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Board of Advisors for Scientific American.  He has served as a Trustee of the Internet Society, and as a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum, which named him a Young Global Leader, and as Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Federal Communications Commission, where he previously chaired the Open Internet Advisory Committee. His book The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It is available from Yale University Press and Penguin UK -- and under a Creative Commons license.  Papers may be found at <http://www.jz.org>.

Areas of Interest

Matthew G. Olsen, Bruce Schneier & Jonathan L. Zittrain, Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the “Going Dark” Debate (Berkman Ctr. Res. Pub. No. 2016-1, Feb. 1, 2016).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Information Privacy & Security
,
Networked Society
,
Cyberlaw
Type: Other
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Reflections on Internet Culture, 13 J. Visual Culture 388 (2014).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Networked Society
Type: Article
Abstract
In these edited remarks originally given at ROFLCon in May 2012, Jonathan Zittrain muses on the nature of memes and their relationships to their creators as well as to broader culture and to politics. The distributed environment of the internet allows memes to morph and become distanced from their original intentions. As meme culture becomes more and more assimilated into popular culture, subcultures like those of Reddit or 4chan have begun to re-conceptualize their own role from just meme propagators to cultural producers. Memes can gain commercial appeal, much to the chagrin of their creators. More strangely, memes can gain political traction and affiliation, like American conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly’s ‘You can‘t explain that’ or Anonymous’ ‘Low Orbit Ion Cannon’. Can meme culture survive becoming not just the property of geeks and nerds, but part of the commercial and political world?
Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Case for Kill Switches in Military Weaponry, 311 Sci. Am., Nov. 2014, at 14.
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Science & Technology
Type: Article
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Perfect Enforcement on Tomorrow's Internet, in Regulating Technologies: Legal Futures, Regulatory Frames and Technological Fixes (Roger Brownsword & Karen Yeung eds., 2008).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Communications Law
,
Cyberlaw
,
Networked Society
Type: Book
Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It (Yale Univ. Press & Penguin UK 2008).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Communications Law
,
Cyberlaw
,
Networked Society
Type: Book
Abstract
This extraordinary book explains the engine that has catapulted the Internet from backwater to ubiquity—and reveals that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success.
Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (Ronald Deibert, John G. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski & Jonathan L. Zittrain eds., MIT Press 2008).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Communications Law
,
Cyberlaw
,
Networked Society
,
Information Privacy & Security
Type: Book
Abstract
Access Denied documents and analyzes Internet filtering practices in more than three dozen countries, offering the first rigorously conducted study of an accelerating trend.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, A History of Online Gatekeeping, 19 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 253 (2006).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Communications Law
,
Cyberlaw
,
Information Privacy & Security
,
Networked Society
Type: Article
Derek E. Bambauer, Ronald J. Deibert, John F. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, Nart Villeneuve & Jonathan L. Zittrain, Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study (Apr. 15, 2005).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Cyberlaw
,
Networked Society
Type: Article
Abstract
China's Internet filtering regime is the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. Compared to similar efforts in other states, China's filtering regime is pervasive, sophisticated, and effective. It comprises multiple levels of legal regulation and technical control. It involves numerous state agencies and thousands of public and private personnel. It censors content transmitted through multiple methods, including Web pages, Web logs, on-line discussion forums, university bulletin board systems, and e-mail messages. Our testing found efforts to prevent access to a wide range of sensitive materials, from pornography to religious material to political dissent. We sought to determine the degree to which China filters sites on topics that the Chinese government finds sensitive, and found that the state does so extensively. Chinese citizens seeking access to Web sites containing content related to Taiwanese and Tibetan independence, Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, the Tiananmen Square incident, opposition political parties, or a variety of anti-Communist movements will frequently find themselves blocked. Contrary to anecdote, we found that most major American media sites, such as CNN, MSNBC, and ABC, are generally available in China (though the BBC remains blocked). Moreover, most sites we tested in our global list's human rights and anonymizer categories are accessible as well. While it is difficult to describe this widespread filtering with precision, our research documents a system that imposes strong controls on its citizens' ability to view and to publish Internet content. This report was produced by the OpenNet Initiative, a partnership among the Advanced Network Research Group, Cambridge Security Programme at Cambridge University, the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Normative Principles for the Evaluation of Free and Proprietary Software, 71 U. Chi. L. Rev. 265 (2004).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Networked Society
,
Intellectual Property Law
Type: Article
Abstract
The production of most mass-market software can be grouped roughly according to free and proprietary development models. These models differ greatly from one another, and their associated licenses tend to insist that new software inherit the characteristics of older software from which it may be derived. Thus the success of one model or another can become self-perpetuating, as older free software is incorporated into later free software and proprietary software is embedded within successive proprietary versions. The competition between the two models is fierce, and the battle between them is no longer simply confined to the market. Claims of improper use of proprietary code within the free GNU/Linux operating system have resulted in multi-billion dollar litigation. This article explains the ways in which free and proprietary software are at odds, and offers a framework by which to assess their value - a prerequisite to determining the extent to which the legal system should take more than a passing, mechanical interest in the doctrinal claims now being pressed against GNU/Linux specifically and free software generally.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Torts Game: Defending Mean Joe Greene (Aspen Pub. 2005).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Torts
Type: Book
Abstract
Use this short secondary text with any torts casebook to give your students a demonstration of the practical dimensions to tort law alongside the doctrine they are already learning.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Be Careful What You Ask For: Reconciling a Global Internet and Local Law, in Who Rules the Net? Internet Governance and Jurisdiction (Adam Thierer & Wayne Crews eds., Cato Institute 2003).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Cyberlaw
Type: Book
Abstract
This book considers the threats to free speech and online commerce posed by international government attempting to impose such territorial statutes and standards within cyberspace.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Internet Points of Control, 44 B.C. L. Rev. 653 (2003).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Intellectual Property - Copyright
,
Cyberlaw
Type: Article
Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Role of Scientific and Technical Data and Information in the Public Domain: New Legal Approaches in the Private Sector, in The Role of Scientific and Technical Data and Information in the Public Domain: Proceedings of a Symposium 169 (Nat'l Res. Council, Nat'l Acad. Sci. 2003).
Categories:
Technology & Law
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Intellectual Property - Copyright
,
Information Commons
,
Science & Technology
Type: Book
Abstract
The first session focused on the role, value, and limits of scientific and technical data and information in the public domain. This was followed in the second session by an overview of the pressures on the public domain.
Jonathan L. Zittrain, ICANN: Between the Public and the Private, in The Best in E-Commerce Law (Warren Agin ed., 2001).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Networked Society
,
Cyberlaw
Type: Book
Jonathan L. Zittrain, What the Publisher Can Teach the Patient: Intellectual Property and Privacy in an Era of Trusted Privication, 52 Stan. L. Rev. 1201 (2000).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Communications Law
,
Cyberlaw
,
Information Privacy & Security
,
Networked Society
,
Medical Technology
Type: Article
Jonathan Zittrain, The Generative Internet, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1975 (2006).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Networked Society
,
Cyberlaw
Type: Article
Jonathan L. Zittrain, Why Libraries [Still] Matter, Medium (Sept. 10, 2014).
Categories:
Technology & Law
Sub-Categories:
Networked Society
,
Information Commons
Type: Other

Academic Appointment and Employment History

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