Daniel Weitzner is the founding director of MIT's Internet Policy Research Initiative and the principal research scientist of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). In addition, Weitzner teaches internet public policy in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department.
From 2011 to 2012, Weitzner was the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House, where he led initiatives on online privacy, cybersecurity, internet copyright and trade policies to promote the free flow of information. He also was associate administrator for policy at the U.S. Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration and a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.
From its inception, Weitzner has been a leader in the development of internet public policy, providing fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free-expression protection in the U.S. Supreme Court, crafting laws that provide protection against government surveillance of email and web-browsing data. His work on U.S. legislation limiting the liability of Internet Service Providers laid the foundations for social media services and supporting the global free flow of information online.
Weitzner's computer science research has pioneered the development of accountable systems architecture to enable computational treatment of legal rules and automated compliance auditing. At the World Wide Web Consortium, he led the development of security and privacy standards and Linked Data architectures now used to make data on the web easier to analyze.
While at MIT, he launched the Web Science Research Initiative with Tim Berners-Lee, Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt and James Hendler, a cross-disciplinary research initiative promoting research on the technical and social impact of the web.
Before joining MIT, Weitzner was founder and deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology and deputy policy director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, the European Commission and leading international bodies.
Weitzner earned a law degree from Buffalo Law School, as well as a BA in philosophy from Swarthmore College. His writings have appeared in Science magazine, the Yale Law Review, Communications of the ACM, the Washington Post, Wired and Social Research. In 2012 he was named to the Newsweek/Daily Beast Digital Power Index as a top Navigator of Global Internet Public Policy. He received the International Association of Privacy Professionals Leadership Award in 2013.