Seminars & Colloquia

Susan Landau

Harvard University

"Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies"

Monday November 14, 2011 04:00 PM
Location: 3211, EB2 Off-Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series



The United States has moved large portions of business and commerce, including the control of critical infrastructure, onto IP-based networks. This reliance on information systems leaves the U.S. highly exposed and vulnerable to cyberattack, yet U.S. law enforcement remains focused on building wiretapping systems within communications infrastructure.  In embedding eavesdropping mechanisms into communications technology itself, we are building tools that could easily be turned against us. Indeed, such attacks have already occurred. In a world that has Al-Qaeda, nation-state economic espionage, and Hurricane Katrina, how do we get communications security right?

Short Bio:

Susan Landau is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Computer Science at Harvard University, where she works on cybersecurity policy issues. In 2010-2011, Landau was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, while from 1999-2010 she was at Sun Microsystems, most recently as Distinguished Engineer. Before joining Sun, Landau taught at the University of Massachusetts and Wesleyan University and conducted research in algebraic algorithms. Landau's book, Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies has just been published by MIT Press; she is also co-author, with Whitfield Diffie, of the 1998 Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption. Landau testified in 2011 for the House Judiciary Committee on security risks in wiretapping, while in 2009 she testified for the House Science Committee on Cybersecurity Activities at NIST's Information Technology Laboratory. Landau serves on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council and on the advisory committee for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Landau is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Vision Social Impact Award,a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an ACM Distinguished Engineer.

Host: Landon Cox, Duke U.

To access the video of this talk, click here.

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