Christopher Yoo

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Christopher S. Yoo
Alma materNorthwestern University School of Law, UCLA, Harvard University
OccupationProfessor, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Christopher S. Yoo is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the founding director of the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition. He is well known for his work on technology law, media law and copyright, and is among the most frequently cited authors in that domain.[1] He is best known for being among the first academics to engage in the debate over network neutrality. He has strived to take a middle ground that takes neither too restrictive nor too permissive an approach, animated by the belief that innovation needs room for experimentation if it is to thrive. He characterizes his position as network "diversity," which argues that the technology and economic environment surrounding the Internet requires greater flexibility, with the difficult question being how much flexibility is too much. He has also studied the history of the unitary executive in the United States.

Education and early career[edit]

Christopher Yoo graduated cum laude from Harvard University (cum laude), where he was a National Merit Scholar. He completed an Master of Business Administration at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA in 1991, where he was awarded the Sigoloff Fellowship and served as the President of the Asian Management Students Association. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Law (magna cum laude) in 1995, where he was John Paul Stevens Prize for graduating first, and the Lowden-Wigmore Prize for best law review note in the Northwestern University Law Review.

Following his graduation he clerked for Judge Arthur Raymond Randolph of the United States Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy. He practiced law with Hogan & Hartson in Washington DC, serving on the appellate group led by John Roberts.

Additionally, he has worked as a U.S. history teacher at an international high school in Seoul, South Korea, a legislative assistant for a U.S. Senator, and as part of the marketing division for Procter & Gamble.

Academic Career[edit]

From 1999 to 2007, Christopher Yoo was a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. From 2005 to 2007, he directed Vanderbilt's Technology and Entertainment Law Program.

During the 2006-07 academic year, he was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He accepted an appointment as a full professor of law in 2007. He also holds secondary appointments at Annenberg School of Communication and The Department of Computer and Information Science. He was named the University’s John H. Chestnut Professor in 2011.


Christopher Yoo's broad research agenda focuses on how principles of engineering can be used to inform policy and regulation using an interdisciplinary approach to law and technology. In his early research, he focused on broadcasting law, and has written widely on telecommunications law and policy, including on Network Neutrality. Network neutrality has emerged as one of the most controversial issues in Internet policy in places such as the European Union, United States, Chile, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Norway, Brazil and India, which are legislating, regulating, and debating the issue. His academic work has been cited in numerous submissions made to regulatory bodies to inform these crucial policy debates. He is additionally working on four projects:

1 World Connected is a global project that takes a data-driven approach to bring more people online. It seeks to consolidate, extend, and share information about connectivity efforts globally by systematically analyzing case studies of all innovative practices aimed at promoting Internet adoption. The project seeks to evaluate these approaches for their cost effectiveness, enabling right-sized investments to accelerate global connectivity.

The second project explores security and privacy of cyber-physical systems. End users are increasingly using systems that tend more and more to include sensors that incorporate data from the physical world; for example: autonomous vehicles and medical devices. CPS is an umbrella term that describes the multitude of Internet-connected devices that also use sensors to interact closely with their physical environment, including autonomous vehicles and medical devices. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) gather data that can be more sensitive than that gathered by previous systems, and share this data with other CPS that raise additional concerns. CPS devices are often more safety-critical and resource constrained. Because they use sensors to draw data directly from the physical environment, they can also face challenges that are less predictable. Cyber physical systems thus raise difficult questions about privacy and security. The project is exploring novel approaches to addressing and managing these risks, all starting with the acknowledgement that security failures are inevitable. From this starting point, the project team intends to explore approaches that emphasize fast detection and recovery, which can have a real-world impact in the CPS space. As a result, architects must consider what constitutes a properly designed product from a security standpoint. This includes situations where security is an emergent property that arises either from the interaction of multiple components each of which appears to have been designed properly or from data that the product has incorporated through experience. This raises complicated questions of causation and apportionment of liability. In addition, the law must determine the scope of liability for security flaws that emerge or are discovered after the product is sold. The privacy problems are similarly complex and benefit from interdisciplinary approaches.

The third project compares antitrust law in China, Europe, and the United States. The project seeks to promote rule of law and due process by improving procedural fairness in antitrust enforcement in all three jurisdictions.

The fourth project explores legal barriers to securing the routing architecture. A global Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) is a framework designed to secure the Internet's routing infrastructure by enabling Third parties to cryptographically validate claims of ownership of Internet address blocks and permit such resource holders to declare routing relationships. However, adoption of RPKI remains at an impasse largely due to legal factors. This project supports an independent assessment of the proper allocation of liability for uses of RPKI by related parties, such as network operators, that can serve as the basis for the parties to discuss resolving the impasse over the indemnification clauses in the Relaying Party Agreement (RPA). If those discussions are successful, the research will ultimately promote more widespread use of RPKI in North America and enable a more secure Internet. BGP is a live distributed protocol which spans the globe, operating on millions of routers, interconnecting 60,000 distinct administrative domains, called Autonomous Systems (AS), and providing routing information to 700,000 destination networks. BGP was originally designed in an era in which security was not a significant concern, and major BGP route changes were communicated by operators via email or community mailing lists. However, the Internet has grown exponentially and the systemic vulnerabilities of the global BGP routing system have been the subject of concern for network operators for the last decade. RPKI provides one solution to the problem. One of the largest obstacles to the adoption of RPKI to secure BGP routing, however, is the fact that most organizations will not or cannot sign ARIN's RPKI Relying Agreement. By conducting a legal analysis and enabling a new form of agreement and compromise, progress forward can be made on this important underlying component of the Internet infrastructure.

Appointments and Policy Engagement[edit]

• Steering Committee, Internet for All, World Economic Forum (2016–present) • Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (2017-present) • IEEE Internet Inclusion Initiative (2016-present) • EQUALS Research Group (2017-present) • American Law Institute Board of Advisers, Information Privacy Principles (2012–present). Since 2005 Yoo has been called ten times to testify before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. He is a member of the American Law and Economics Association, the Federal Communications Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.


• U.S. National Science Foundation Grant on Security and Privacy-Aware Cyber-Physical Systems (October 2015–September 2018). • U.S. National Science Foundation Grant on NEBULA: A Future Internet That Supports Trustworthy Cloud Computing (August 2010–July 2013). • German Federal Ministry on Economics and Technology Grant on Network neutrality and options for action by the state (June 2011–June 2012). • EAGER Grant: Legal barriers to securing the routing infrastructure (June 2017-)

Select Public Appearences[edit]

• Keynote Speaker, Biennial Conference International Telecommunications Society (June 27, 2016). • Keynote Speaker, 2014 Biennial Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (December 1. 2014). • Keynote Address, U.S. Federal Communications Commission (September 10, 2014). • Keynote Address, Pacific Telecommunications Council (January 21, 2014). • Keynote Address, Tilburg Law and Economics Center, Tilburg University (May 24, 2013). • Keynote Address, London School of Economics (March 25, 2013).

Selected publications[edit]

Books and book chapters

  • Networks in Telecommunications: Economics and Law (Cambridge University Press 2009) (with Daniel F. Spulber)
  • The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush (Yale University Press 2008) (with Steven G. Calabresi)
  • Network Neutrality after Comcast: Toward a Case-by-Case Approach to Reasonable Network Management, in New Directions in Communications Policy 55-83 (Randolph J. May ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2009)
  • Network Neutrality and Competition Policy: A Complex Relationship, in Net Neutrality or Net Neutering: Should Broadband Internet Services Be Regulated? 25-71 (Thomas M. Lenard & Randolph J. May eds., Springer, 2006)

Articles in academic journals

External links[edit]