Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Conference -- Cybersecurity and International Relations

Thursday, May 3, 2012

8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Metcalf Auditorium, 190 Thayer Street

A Watson Institute and Computer Science Conference
Cybersecurity and International Relations 

May 3, 2012 

Brown University, Metcalf Auditorium, 190 Thayer Street

Open to the public

In less than two decades the Internet has become a valuable communications medium for more than two billion individuals, an engine for economic growth, and a vehicle for social and political change. At the same time the Internet has also created opportunities for fraud, theft, piracy, sabotage, economic- and state-based espionage, and network disruption, issues that involve cybersecurity in one form or another. 

The international politics of Internet governance are also in contention. Nations are competing in the international arena to determine which bodies will be responsible for setting standards for Internet technologies and controlling the assignment of domain names. The outcome of this competition will have a profound impact on the Internet architecture, operations, security, and content. Domestically nations are also adapting their legislation to this new regime. 

Coping with these issues requires a cadre of policymakers who are conversant with the technologies of the Internet and technologists who are prepared and equipped to work with policymakers. Individuals of both types are in short supply. 

This conference brings together experts on the many aspects of cybersecurity and international relations. Its goal is to educate the larger community about the fascinating challenges that exist in this area and to highlight opportunities for creative and constructive contributions. 


08:45 Welcoming Remarks  
Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University, Carolyn Dean, Interim Director, Watson Institute, and John Savage, An Wang Professor of Computer Science 

09:00 Cyber Threat: Crime, Espionage and War
Dmitri Alperovitch, Chief Technology Officer, CrowdStrike 

Technologically advanced military forces and intelligence agencies, rogue nation states, organized cybercriminal networks, anonymous hackers and terrorist groups - they all present a threat in cyberspace. Which is the most potent and how do they rank in risk and sophistication? How can our highly limited resources be best prioritized to address this multitude of threats? This talk is by a cybersecurity expert who has led numerous high-profile investigations into nation-state sponsored intrusions and other serious cyber threats. The talk will jump-start a much needed debate on these topics. 

Student moderator: Sam Boger is a senior concentrating in Math-Computer Science. Academically, he has focused in abstract math, algorithms, and computer security. He has been active as a computer science Teaching Assistant for 5 semesters, including serving as the Head Teaching Assistant for Computer Security twice. He will be working for Google in Mountain View next year as a Software Engineer.

10:00  U.S. Congressman James Langevin

10:15 Securing Cyberspace: A Technological Perspective
Anna Lysyanskya, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Brown University 

Vulnerabilities in modern computer systems and networks arose largely because, in their original design, security was an afterthought, rather than a priority. Knowing what we do now, how could we design things differently? How should we think about system design in order to build in security from the ground up, rather than having to repeatedly plug security holes? What technological tools are available that could protect us from malicious online attacks? This talk, geared towards a non-specialist audience, will give an overview of state-of-the-art computer science that everyone working on the problem of securing cyberspace today needs to know. 

Student moderator: Anna Herlihy is a sophomore concentrating in Computer Science. She is currently a Teaching Assistant for Cybersecurity and International Relations. She is also a member of the Women in Computer Science student group and is currently working on new programs to support and encourage women in CS. This summer she will be doing research at Massachusetts General Hospital and helping to develop the new Introduction to Computer Systems course.

11:15 Coffee Break

11:30 International Initiatives to Secure Cyberspace
Jack Goldsmith,
Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard University 

Professor Goldsmith will discuss how digital technologies interact with domestic and international law to significantly disadvantage the United States with regard to cybersecurity.

Student moderator: Joseph Rosner is a senior at Brown dual majoring in Political Theory and Philosophy. He has interned as an assistant investigator at the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, and most recently at the Global Network Initiative, a non-profit initiative focused on promoting online freedom of speech and privacy worldwide. On campus, Joe has served as the President of the Brown Debating Union and coaches high school debaters in the Rhode Island Urban Debate League. Joe will be matriculating at the University of Chicago Law School this fall.

12:30 Lunch Break

2:00 Creating Economic Incentives for Cybersecurity
Allan Friedman
, Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution 

Discussion of risks in cybersecurity can include crime, espionage and international conflict. Conflating these areas can lead to confused and overeager politicians, poorly framed proposals and inadequate solutions. Economics offers a set of tools to understand different threats, actors and their incentives, and shed insight into complex policy challenges that arise in dealing with digital risk.

Student moderator: Adam Zethraeus is a senior Computer Science concentrator. He's passionate about the web, and about keeping it open and accessible to facilitate free expression. In addition to working as a teaching assistant for Cybersecurity and International Relations, he is Head Teaching Assistant for Modern Web Apps, a course he helped build. He'll be working for Amazon Web Services next year.

3:00 Increasing Security and Reducing Risk in Cyberspace

Global Cyber Resilience: Economies of Security
Phyllis Schneck
, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Public Sector, McAfee

Those who seek to do damage to cyber systems are often far better equipped than those who own, operate and protect those systems. In fact, the cyber adversary has no competitive, business, international, legal or intellectual property boundaries to combining information and executing with complete agility. In nation state cases, these adversaries further benefit from a generous funding stream, enabling long-term planning and choreographing of attacks to accomplish a mission of information theft or even destruction with laser accuracy.

Cyber criminals enjoy a phenomenal profit model. With a low barrier to entry, large reward, and little chance of attribution, the business of cyber crime, ranging in motivation from financial gain to espionage and destruction, generates incredible margins. Money and jobs are being moved between countries and companies, with the economic impact yet to be fully quantified.

Truly effective cyber security helps to provide resiliency across critical infrastructure sectors, economic stability, and the reduction of the profit model currently appreciated by the criminal community. We must look at cyber security as top technology as well as an economic issue of risk mitigation and investment. True resilience will require a global policy initiative to enable data privacy as well as combine and correlate situational awareness in real time to help drive the innovation and protect the freedoms that define our way of life. 

Student moderator: Timothy Peacock is a senior graduating in the Political Science Department. This past semester, Tim has worked as the Head Teaching Assistant for cs180, Cybersecurity and International Relations. The course brings together students who like policy with students who like computer science to build bridges and understanding between the two disciplines. When he isn't grading papers, Tim serves as the Director of SHAPE, a Swearer Center program that teaches sexual health education at a Providence high school. Next year he hopes to land in the Bay Area.

Science, Diplomacy and Cybersecurity
Karl Rauscher
, Distinguished Fellow and Chief Technology Officer, EastWest Institute

Civilization is dependent like never before on fast appearing technologies that are pervasively deployed in our midst, their benefits motivating their continued adoption for as far as we can see. However, around the world, national security, economic growth and stability and even public safety are instantly jeopardized when our information and communications technology-based services are impaired. Interestingly, society's dramatically increasing exposure to these types of failures is not from the technology itself but rather from the limitations of the policies that support its use amongst individuals, enterprises and government and non-government organizations, bringing international cybersecurity diplomacy to the forefront of the international security of our world. 

In the process of examining the inherent vulnerabilities of cyberspace, the Eight Ingredient (8i) Framework proves to be a thorough and comprehensive advanced analysis method that can be utilized to anticipate challenges and identify best practices in cybersecurity. Of the eight ingredients though, Policy (or Agreements, Standards, Policy and Regulations-ASPR), rather than technology, is the area most behind and least developed in vulnerability analysis. Based on this need for the development and implementation of policy, especially on an international level, the EastWest Institute (EWI) brings together governments, subject matter experts, and industry stakeholders to find and forge consensus on international policies that make cyberspace safer, more stable and secure. 

Student moderator: Adam Cook is a junior in the Computer Science Department. This semester he is a Teaching Assistant for CS180, Cybersecurity and International Relations, and he has been a Teaching Assistant for several other courses in his time at Brown. Last summer he interned at Tripadvisor, and this summer, he will be working at Dropbox, developing their Android app.

China and Cybersecurity: The Puzzles
Richard “Pete” Suttmeier
, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Oregon 

China looms large in any discussion of international cybersecurity and cybersecurity threats to the US. This presentation will examine the main issues in this discussion and will explore how current Chinese policies pertaining to innovation and intellectual property affect the international cybersecurity environment. It will also examine the proposition that a distinctive Chinese "information culture" contributes to the problems of understanding China's role in international cybersecurity issues.

Student moderator: Irene V. Nemesio is a senior in the Taubman Center for Public Policy's undergraduate honors program. Although her primary research in the department explores the intersection of civil rights and transportation policy, her other policy interests and current work include advocacy for domestic violence victims, urban and environmental policy, as well as cybersecurity and international relations. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Irene also spent one year living abroad in Dalian, China. During her time at Brown, Irene interned at U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s home office and at Public Advocates Inc., a public interest law firm in San Francisco. In addition, Irene served as Vice President for External Affairs for the Ivy Council this past year, developing and coordinating its flagship Ivy China exchange last summer which sent 30 student delegates from the Ivy League to Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and several other provinces throughout China in partnership with the All China Youth Federation, U.S. State Department and Chinese universities. After graduation, Irene intends to pursue a career in law.

4:30 Closing Discussion with Speakers

Video from this event: