Felten, who earned his degree in physics at Caltech, was recognized for “contributions to security of computer systems and for impact on public policy,” according to the Academy’s official announcement. In 2011, Felten served as chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission, where he helped the FTC navigate technology policy issues.
His research interests include computer security and privacy, especially relating to media and consumer products; and technology law and policy. He has published about eighty papers in the research literature, and two books. His research on topics such as web security, copyright and copy protection, and electronic voting has been covered extensively in the popular press. His weblog, at freedom-to-tinker.com, is widely read for its commentary on technology, law, and policy.
He was the lead computer science expert witness for the Department of Justice in the Microsoft antitrust case, and he has testified in other important lawsuits. He has testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on digital television technology and regulation, and before the House Administration Committee on electronic voting. In 2004, Scientific American magazine named him to its list of fifty worldwide science and technology leaders.