Faculty Directory


Saint Mary's College, BS 2005
Northeastern University, JD 2009


David O’Brien is the Assistant Research Director for Privacy and Security at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Law, Information and Creativity (CLIC) at Northeastern. He teaches Information Security Law and Policy as a member of Northeastern's adjunct faculty. His research interests sit at the intersections of privacy and security engineering, national security, government hacking, surveillance, malign influence operations, and regulation and governance. He frequently writes about information security, privacy-preserving techniques in computer science, encryption policy, intermediary liability and regulatory enforcement.

David’s work has been featured in The New York Times, the MIT Technology Review, Just Security and numerous academic journals. He has served on expert working groups on cybersecurity and encryption policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Aspen Institute, the World Economic Forum, and the East West Institute, among others. David was a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence at Harvard Law School in 2016 and a co-recipient of the Caspar Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies in 2019.

A full biography and links to Professor O'Brien's publications can be found at: cyber.harvard.edu/people/dobrien.

Selected Works