In late May, Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 was appointed chair of the Open Internet Advisory Committee. The committee was called for by the Federal Communications Commission to track and evaluate the effects of the FCC’s Open Internet rules and to provide recommendations to the FCC regarding policies and practices related to preserving the open Internet.

Zittrain, who is co-founder and director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, was named the FCC’s Distinguished Scholar in May 2011, working in the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis on issues related to 21st century communications networks.

In 2002, Zittrain performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia, and, as part of the OpenNet Initiative, he co-edited a series of studies of Internet filtering by national governments, including “Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering” (MIT, 2008) and “Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace” (MIT, 2010). In addition to his professorship at HLS, Zittrain is professor of law at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and professor of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Board of Advisors for Scientific American. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum, which has named him a Young Global Leader. Previously, he was Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University.

Zittrain’s research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. He is the author “The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It” (Yale University Press & Penguin UK, 2008).

For more information, read the official announcement from the FCC (pdf).

Read a conversation on his FCC appointment between Zittrain and Carl Franzen of Talking Points Memo.