Watson Institute for International Studies

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Cybersecurity and International Relations

April 23, 2012

Experts on cybersecurity and international relations will come together at Brown University next month for “Cybersecurity and International Relations: A Conference.” The daylong series of presentations and discussions, jointly organized by the Watson Institute and Brown University’s Department of Computer Science, will take place on Thursday, May 3.

While the Internet is a valuable medium for communication, an engine for economic growth, and a vehicle for social and political change, it is also a place for fraud, theft, piracy, sabotage, economic- and state-based espionage, and network disruption—all issues involving cybersecurity. And these issues invoke the international politics of Internet governance, as nations are competing to determine which bodies will set standards for Internet technologies and control the assignment of domain names.

Coping with challenges requires both policymakers who are conversant in the technologies of the Internet, and technology experts who are ready to work with policymakers.

The “Cybersecurity and International Relations” conference at Brown thus aims to educate the larger community about the challenges that exist at the intersection of these two fields. Event organizers say they hope the day’s presentations and discussions will highlight opportunities for creative and constructive contributions. 

Presenters will include U.S. Congressman James Langevin, CrowdStrike Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch, Brown University Computer Science Professor Anna Lysyanskya, Harvard University Law Professor Jack Goldsmith, Brookings Institution Fellow Allan Friedman, McAfee Vice President Phyllis Schneck, EastWest Institute Distinguished Fellow Karl Rauscher, and University of Oregon Political Science Professor Emeritus Richard “Pete” Suittmeier.

The conference begins at 8:45 a.m. at Brown University’s Metcalf Auditorium (190 Thayer Street). The conference is open to the public. More details about the event can be found here: http://watsoninstitute.org/events_detail.cfm?id=1875.