I am a Research Fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, where I direct the Daylight Lab. I’m interested primarily in measuring and understanding the relevance of internet fragmentation and internet nationalism.

For a quick introduction to my methods and perspective, have a look at Internet Fragmentation: Beyond “free'“ and “closed” (2019), or watch this 10-minute video.

Working with me

If you’re interested in working with me, please email me:

Email to Image Generator

Notable projects

In roughly reverse-chronological order of when I began work on each:

  • DAO DAO - A DAO that builds DAOs. Our open-source contracts protect tens of millions of dollars for DAOs around the world.

  • Internet Atlas - Real-time data on who controls the global internet. Our data has been integrated into Internet Society's Pulse dashboard, covered by CNN, and used by policymakers, industry leaders, and the intelligence community.

  • MLFailures - Open-access materials to teach students, and policymakers how to identify and ameliorate bias in machine learning models. I have taught versions of these materials to graduate students, business leaders, and government officials.

  • Adversary Personas - A game to help non-experts identify security threats. This practice has been integrated into Meta’s threat ideation process, and into the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)'s participatory threat modeling process.

  • Passthoughts - Using brain-machine interface to “think your password.” Passthoughts was the world's first one-step, three-step authentication mechanism, and has been widely covered in the media (see a partial list here).

Big ideas

I have developed a couple of “Big Ideas” over the years.

About me

I received my Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Information. My adviser was John Chuang.

All of my papers should be available on Google Scholar without a paywall. If you find a paper you can’t access, please let me know.

I live in xučyun, Ohlone territory. If you do too, check out cafe mak-’amham and consider giving Shuumi.

ewweh ṭuuxi huyyuwiš (brighter days lie ahead)



Nick Merrill