Sascha Meinrath


Palmer Chair in Telecommunications,
Director of the X-Lab


  • Law and Policy
  • Telecommunications
  • Internet & Technology

Focus Areas:

  • Technology Policy
  • Election Hacking
  • Privacy
  • Surveillance
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity


  • His research focuses on broadband connectivity, distributed communications, Digital Feudalism, Digital Craftsmanship, telecommunications and spectrum policy, cybersecurity and privacy, and disruptive technology.
  • Named to the “TIME Tech 40” in 2013 as one of the most influential figures in technology.

Sascha Meinrath’s research focuses on broadband connectivity, distributed communications, Digital Feudalism, Digital Craftsmanship, telecommunications and spectrum policy, cybersecurity and privacy, and disruptive technology.

Meinrath is the Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State and director of X-Lab, an innovative think tank focusing on the intersection of vanguard technologies and public policy. He is a renowned technology policy expert and is internationally recognized for his work over the past two decades as a community internet pioneer, social entrepreneur and angel investor.

He was elected as an Ashoka Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship in 2012, and has been named to the Time Magazine “Tech 40” as one of the most influential figures in technology; to the “Top 100” in Newsweek’s Digital Power Index; and is a recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy.

Meinrath is widely published in both academic and media outlets, including Critical Studies in Media Communications, International Journal of Communications, Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Journal of Internet Law, Journal for Community Informatics, IEEE Internet Computing Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Time Magazine, Politico, Slate, The Guardian and many others.

On the Web

The XLab X-Lab drives digital equity through bold policy interventions, technology innovation, and the thoughtful study of upcoming risks.

Center for Security Research and Education

Bellisario College of Communications

Elsevier PURE Research Output The Penn State Research Database is a gateway to finding research output, collaboration partners and facilities throughout all Penn State campuses.

In The Media

How can President Biden help rural America? Fix the internet

from The Philadelphia Inquirer January 21, 2021

“Romania has better connectivity than we do and they had no connectivity 20 years ago."

"Between February and mid March, when the pandemic was only just beginning to hit the US, there was a 10% increase in how many counties saw download speeds fall below the government standard, representing about one in 10 US counties, M-Lab found. 'Now that people’s livelihoods, schools and lives, are literally on the line, we can’t survive,' Meinrath said. 'These communities that are underserved are not going to be able to transition to an online workplace or school environment.'”

"But companies still get hacked far more often than they admit, meaning true transparency may be a long way away, said Sascha Meinrath, founder of the technology policy think tank X-Lab."

Think Twice About Free Wi-Fi

from Kiplinger August 1, 2018

"While you’re taking a break from work, there’s a good chance that fraudsters are working overtime, and their tactics are increasingly sophisticated. Crooks use details they’ve gathered about you—such as a friend’s name, a store you’ve patronized or the bank you use—to tailor their approach, says Sascha Meinrath, a cybersecurity expert at Penn State University."

"Meinrath, along with nine other critics, argued against jamming under any circumstances. They said that allowing any use of jamming would encourage a proliferation of jammers, affect public safety, and interfere with national communication. 'Outside communications can be a real issue, but jammers don’t solve this problem; instead, [jamming] creates incredible collateral damage,' said Meinrath."

“There’s been no meaningful assessment, no data-driven cost-benefit analysis. It’s a massive experiment with no checks, no scientific methodology. We have no idea if this is causing more harm than good, we have no way to know.” - Sascha Meinrath

How Other Countries Deal With Net Neutrality

from Smithsonian Magazine December 15, 2017

"The combination could undermine consumers, device makers, software coders and service providers by creating an entity capable of dictating what wireless devices can and can’t do.” - Sascha Meinrath

The Biggest Hackers of American Elections are Americans

from Fast Company November 7, 2017

" someone who researches technical innovations, it’s clear to me that the 2016 presidential election results were most affected by social and political forces, not technological shortcomings."

What is the future of technology in America?

from International Business Times July 25, 2017

"My work, and that of many other technology policy experts and public interest advocates, has focused on ensuring that the digital revolutions in our society and our economy bring the most freedoms and benefits to the most people, with as little oppression and harm as possible – a goal that is shared by a vast majority of the general public from across traditional political, socioeconomic, racial and cultural divides."

“Network Neutrality is fundamentally about ensuring that you — and only you — get to decide what you want to hear, watch, play, and read. So next time some mega-corporation tries to tell you that their peach-okra pie is ‘simply delicious,’ remember: You know best what you like to eat.” - Sascha Meinrath

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Sascha Meinrath

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Sascha Meinrath

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Sascha Meinrath

Sascha Meinrath

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