It’s hard to keep up with the computer security phenomenon known as Ed Felten. Tomorrow Felten will give a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by the Senate Science and Technology Caucus. He will be talking about botnets, those invisible robots that can stealthily turn the most innocent of PCs into malicious zombies (think “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” only with computers instead of people).

This is at least the third time that Felten, director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, has been invited to Capitol Hill of late. Last month he testified on voting security before the House Administration Committee. Next month he will be sharing his policy thoughts in Princeton, as part of a panel of distinguished scientists — including genetics giant David Botstein — who will ponder the future of biotechnology in an invitation-only forum sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

Felten’s blog, Freedom to Tinker, continues to be a must-read for many journalists as well as thought leaders. Recently it earned a mention in The Observer.

For those who are wondering where exactly Felten ranks among information technology luminaries, it’s official: eWeek, CIO, and

Baseline magazines recently published their “Top 100 Most Influential People in IT” and Felten is among them. If you want to find out his exact rank, you’ll have to look behind each number in this Jeopardy-like listing (hint: Felten ranks above House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). Legendary Princeton Engineering alumni Eric Schmidt (Google) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) made the list, which includes Ebay’s Meg Whitman, who also went to Princeton but who majored in economics.