Barbara van Schewick

Position / Title: 
M. Elizabeth Magill Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Areas of Expertise: 

Barbara van Schewick is a professor of law, and by courtesy, electrical engineering at Stanford Law School. She is also the Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.

Van Schewick is a leading expert on net 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 research has influenced net neutrality debates in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, and has been cited by academics, stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and other public entities worldwide. The Federal Communications Commission’s 2010, 2015, and 2024 Open Internet Orders relied heavily on her work. She served as the lead technical advisor for California’s 2018 landmark net neutrality law that restored all of the protections the FCC abolished in 2017, and testified at every hearing on the bill. She wrote amicus briefs on novel questions of federal preemption of state broadband laws in cases challenging state broadband laws, including California’s net neutrality law that was upheld three times by federal courts.

Her work also shaped the European Union's 2015 and 2020 guidelines implementing the European Union's net neutrality law, the E.U.’s 2022 update that banned harmful zero-rating, and the 2016 and 2017 Orders on zero-rating by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, respectively.

Van Schewick has testified before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and the California Legislature, and has advised policy makers, legislators, and regulators in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. She has submitted White Papers, ex parte letters and comments to network-neutrality-related proceedings in the U.S., Canada, India, and Europe, and was instrumental in FCC efforts to stop Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent and Verizon’s blocking of tethering applications.

Her work has been discussed by leading print and online publications around the world, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Economist, BBC News, The Times of India, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, BoingBoing, Wired, and Ars Technica, and has been featured on radio and television in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.

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.”

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.


Barbara van Schewick’s salary, research support, and travel* are funded through the general budget of Stanford Law School and are independent of the budget and funding of the Center for Internet and Society. She has received no direct or indirect corporate funding for her work with the Center for Internet and Society or Stanford Law School.

*Unless covered by event organizers.