Peter Eckersley is Chief Computer Scientist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He leads a team of technologists who watch for technologies that, by accident or design, pose a risk to computer users' freedoms—and then look for ways to fix them. They write code to make the Internet more secure, more open, and safer against surveillance and censorship. They explain gadgets to lawyers and policymakers, and law and policy to gadgets.
Peter is currently focused on a new EFF initiative on the policy, strategy and governance questions raised by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies: how fast are they progressing? What are their security and privacy implications? What policies should governments adopt now, and what will we need to do in the longer term to ensure AI develops in a way that is safe and meets human needs?
Over the years Peter has also lead EFF's work on many privacy and security initiatives including Let's Encrypt and Certbot, Panopticlick, HTTPS Everywhere, the SSL Observatory and Privacy Badger; helping to launch a movement for open wireless networks; fighting to keep modern computing platforms open; helping to start the campaign against the SOPA/PIPA Internet blacklist legislation; and running the first controlled tests to confirm that Comcast was using forged reset packets to interfere with P2P protocols.
Peter holds a PhD in computer science and law from the University of Melbourne; his research focused on the practicality and desirability of using alternative compensation systems to legalize P2P file sharing and similar distribution tools while still paying authors and artists for their work. His other activities include co-charing the Partnership on AI's Working Group on Safety-Critical Uses of AI; serving on the boards of the Internet Security Research Group and the US branch of the Centre for Effective Altruism; on the Advisory Council of the Open Technology Fund; as an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University; and as advisor to 3D microscopy startup 3scan.