Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.


Jonathon  Penney

Assistant Professor of Law; Director, Law & Technology Institute


Related information

Schulich School of Law , Law & Technology Institute

Email: jon@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-4231
Mailing Address: 
Room 435, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Contract Law / E-commerce
  • Intellectual Property
  • Law and Technology
  • Empirical Legal Studies / Interdisciplinary Methods
  • Online Privacy / Surveillance / Security
  • Internet Regulation and Censorship
  • Hacker Culture
  • Human Rights Law


  • BA, JD (Dalhousie)
  • LLM (Columbia)
  • MST (Oxford)
  • PhD (Oxford)

Bar admissions

  • Ontario
  • New York State


Jon is an Assistant Professor of Law.  A former Berkman Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, he is presently a Research Fellow at The Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford (Balliol College), where his interdisciplinary empirical legal research examines regulatory chilling effects online. 

During his time at Oxford, Jon was a Canadian Centennial Scholar at Balliol College and a Google Policy Fellow at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, where he worked on an Open Net Initiative transparency project. He was also Project Coordinator for the Privacy Value Networks Project, a large scale, multi-university project on data privacy led by the Oxford Internet Institute and funded by the United Kingdom's  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Jon’s historical legal scholarship was also recognized in 2011, winning the Osgoode Society’s Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History for his work on the legal thought of the late Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand.

A Dalhousie grad, Jon studied at Columbia Law School as a Fulbright Scholar and at Oxford as a Mackenzie King Scholar, where he was also associate editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal. He previously taught at Victoria University of Wellington Law School (New Zealand) as InternetNZ Fellow and Lecturer and, before returning to academia, worked as a lawyer with the Justice Department’s Regulatory Division in Toronto, acting for federal agencies in a range of civil litigation and regulatory matters in the federal, tax, and superior courts, including cases before the Federal and Ontario Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Jon also worked, from time to time, as a policy advisor at the federal level.


Research interests

Jon’s research interests concern, broadly speaking, law and technology, including online censorship, privacy, and surveillance.  He also has an interest in e-contracting/e-commerce, intellectual property, empirical legal studies, and examining private law norms through the lens of technology more generally.  

Selected awards & honours

  • 2013-present: Program Committee, USENIX Security Symposium's Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI), Washington, DC
  • 2013-present: Research Affiliate, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University
  • 2012 - 2013: Berkman Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University
  • 2012 - present: Research Fellow, Citizen Lab & Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
  • 2011: Google Policy Fellow, Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
  • 2011: Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Society, Law Society of Upper Canada
  • 2009: Fulbright Scholarship, Fulbright Foundation (Columbia University)

Selected publications

Service & activity

  • Member, Law & Technology Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie
  • Member, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Toronto
  • Member, InternetNZ, Wellington, New Zealand

Videos & presentations

Jon Penney - "Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past"
February 26, 2013
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard University