Internet Architecture and Innovation

by Barbara van Schewick


Barbara van Schewick

Barbara van Schewick is the M. Elizabeth Magill Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering in Stanford University’s Department of Electrical Engineering, and a leading expert on net neutrality.

Van Schewick’s research on the economic, regulatory, and strategic implications of communication networks bridges law, networking and economics. This work has made her a leading expert on network neutrality. Her book Internet Architecture and Innovation (MIT Press 2010, Paperback 2012) is considered to be the seminal work on the science, economics and policy of network neutrality. Her papers on network neutrality have influenced regulatory debates in the United States, Canada and Europe and have been cited by academics, stakeholders, regulatory agencies and other public entities worldwide. The FCC’s Open Internet Order, which adopted network neutrality rules in the US for the first time, relied heavily on her work. Van Schewick’s ideas have influenced reports on network neutrality and Quality of Service by the European Group of Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The German Commission of Experts on Research and Innovation, a Commission established by the German Government to provide scientific policy advice on these issues, adopted van Schewick’s recommendations on network neutrality and Quality of Service in its 2011 report to the German Government and recommended the adoption of network neutrality rules based on her work.

Van Schewick has testified before the FCC in en banc hearings and official workshops, co- authored amicus briefs defending the FCC’s Order against Comcast and the FCC’s Open Internet Order, and submitted White Papers, ex parte letters and comments to network-neutrality-related proceedings in the US and in Europe. In 2007, van Schewick was one of three academics who, together with public interest groups, filed the petition that started the FCC’s network neutrality inquiry into Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer protocols. Her letters to the FCC regarding Verizon Wireless’ blocking of tethering applications and Verizon’s, AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s blocking of Google Wallet received widespread attention and motivated the FCC and members of Congress to formally or informally investigate these cases.

Van Schewick received the Scientific Award 2005 from the German Foundation for Law and Computer Science and the Award in Memory of Dieter Meurer 2006 from the German Association for the Use of Information Technology in Law (“EDV-Gerichtstag”) for her doctoral work. In 2010, she received the Research Prize Technical Communication 2010 from the Alcatel-Lucent Stiftung for Communications Research for her “pioneering work in the area of Internet architecture, innovation and regulation.”

Her work has been discussed by leading online and print publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, BoingBoing, Wired or Ars Technica, and has been featured on radio and television in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Van Schewick holds a PhD in Computer Science, an MSc in Computer Science, and a BSc in Computer Science, all summa cum laude from Technical University Berlin, the Second State Exam in Law (equivalent of Bar Exam), summa cum laude, from the Higher Regional Court Berlin and the First State Exam in Law (equivalent of J.D.), summa cum laude, from Free University Berlin.

Photos of the author and of her book can be found here.