Riana Pfefferkorn is a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory. Her work focuses on investigating and analyzing the U.S. and other governments’ policies and practices for forcing decryption and/or influencing crypto-related design of online platforms and services, devices, and products, both via technical means and through the courts and legislatures. Pfefferkorn also researches the benefits and detriments of strong encryption on free expression, political engagement, economic development, and other public interests.
Pfefferkorn was previously the Associate Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining Stanford, she was an associate in the Internet Strategy & Litigation group at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she worked on litigation and counseling matters involving online privacy, Internet intermediary liability, consumer protection, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets and was actively involved in the firm’s pro bono program. Before that, Pfefferkorn clerked for the Honorable Bruce J. McGiverin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. She also interned during law school for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Pfefferkorn earned her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Whitman College.