Cybersecurity and the Paris Attacks: The Encryption Debate

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This post was originally published on the Jackson School of International Studies International Policy Institute Website on November 22, 2015. Although initial investigation appears to indicate that no encryption was used to plan the terrible attacks in Paris, the attacks have given the policy conversation around encryption and commercial products new life. Many security officials would like to see backdoors built into commercial products that would allow security agencies to monitor communication. Technology companies and privacy advocates disagree. Many security officials argue that encryption makes it difficult-to-impossible to monitor the online conversations that could indicate an attack was going to take place. For…

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The potential impact of the 2015 Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)

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This post was originally published on the Jackson School of International Studies International Policy Institute Website on November 6, 2015. Last week, I analyzed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which has just passed the Senate with a vote of 74-21. The CISA is an effort to promote information sharing across agencies of government and private actors in order to improve cybersecurity in the United States. If the CISA passes, and it seems likely to, it will have a range of impacts internationally and on the Pacific Northwest (PNW). In the PNW, the CISA will heavily impact technology companies. Technology companies create,…

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The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)

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This post was originally published on the Jackson School of International Studies International Policy Institute Website on October 30, 2015. On October 27, 2015, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed in the Senate with a vote of 74-21. The CISA is an effort to promote information sharing across agencies of government and private actors in order to improve cybersecurity. The CISA would accomplish this sharing by creating a way for federal government agencies, in particular the Department of Homeland Security, to receive information about cybersecurity threats from the private sector. The CISA would protect companies by granting them legal immunity in…

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Cybersecurity Experts Discuss International Cybersecurity Norms

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This post was originally published on the Jackson School of International Studies International Policy Institute Website on October 20, 2015. The third conference panel of JSIS’s New Frontiers in International Affairs: A Conversation on the Arctic, Space, and Cybersecurity – Views from the Puget Sound and the Potomac, addressed the following questions: What are the current international cybersecurity norms? How can they be improved? What is the potential for public-private collaboration in developing and maintaining good cybersecurity norms? Cybersecurity is a diverse and broad field and the panel reflected that span. Professor Sara Curran moderated the panel and the speakers included:…

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Working on “The Book”

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My goal for my website has been to post a research-related blog post about once a month to help myself record thoughts about my research and my research interests in relation to major events. But, for the past months I have been working exclusively on revising my book manuscript for final submission. I’m finding that working on this has crowded out all other types of writing. The book has become the lens that every academic thing I’m doing refracts—even things that seem tangential, such as teaching about the 20th century’s international politics this summer. In April there was an article…

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Internet Culture course at UWB this autumn – UPDATE

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This is an update to this post. While my class on Internet Culture was initially approved, it wasn’t going to be able to count as a Global Studies course. They’ve asked me to instead reteach “Information Technology & Social Movements.” I’m a bit disappointed as I was dreaming of nyan cats – but, the more mainstream info tech and protesty course is also fun. For any potential students–and I have been contacted by several–the class does include coverage of about Anonymous, WikiLeaks, The Pirate Bay/Pirate Party/filesharing, and other internety culture things–just a slightly different focus. I will be modifying the…

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Goodbye David Notkin

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Normally, my blog is a space for me to think about my research. But, today I head to the funeral of a wonderful person, David Notkin. David has had a huge impact on my academic and personal life so I’m going to make a tiny space here in remembrance, a tiny space that is dwarfed by the very large space he occupied in so many of our worlds. When I met David I thought I had been so lucky in mentors that I didn’t need anymore. But, as David offered me his friendship I discovered that I was wrong. I…

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Different and the same, San Francisco

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This post was written for the Jackson School of International Studies Correspondence blog. Go check out the other amazing posts! Last week I was in San Francisco to present at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference.  I was presenting two papers.  One paper was on my own research about online communities and political mobilization and the other was about a project I work on for the Jackson School called the Knowledge Network of World Events & News (KNOW) project. With the KNOW project, we are trying to create a learning portal contextualizes current international events with historical, political, social,…

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In Defense of Cyberspace

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This blog post is a challenge to two popular articles that were published in the last month about cyberspace and the state. Both conversations could be substantively enriched with grounding in a broader social science literature, the findings of political scientists, and others attempting to understand the relationship between the state and society. The first is an article by Michael Lind entitled, “Stop Pretending Cyberspace Exists” that begins with the line, “Some ideas make you dumber the moment you learn of them. One of those ideas is the concept of ‘cyberspace.’” Hyperbolic phrasing aside, he argues that there is no…

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