Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Susan Landau -- Cybersecurity: Asking the Right Questions

Thursday, February 28, 2013

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

"Cybersecurity: Asking the Right Questions," with Susan Landau, author, Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies,
co-author, Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, privacyink.org.

In a matter of a couple of decades we moved from having the majority of our electronic communications from circuit-switched networks to packet-routed ones. The Internet brought an explosion of enormously rich and diverse applications. But a snake entered this garden: a snake of hacks, attacks, thefts, and cybexploitations. The shift to the Internet was done without careful attention to systemic security or deep education of the system's users.

Public concern about cyber insecurity has reached a fever pitch. The result is predictable: frequent calls to reengineer the Internet to make it safe. Suggestions that attribution be more manageable or that federal government tools should protect private-sector critical infrastructure are surfacing, often coming from a serious misunderstanding of the real threats. In this talk, I'll focus on some of these, and talk about how to ask the right questions in cybersecurity. Only then can we proceed to appropriate solutions.

Dr. Landau will be introduced by Professor Rose McDermott, Political Science Department, Brown University.

Location: Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.