Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance

The BU Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance (Cyber Alliance) is a collaboration between computer science, law, business, and social science researchers to position BU as a leader in the burgeoning global discussion on cybersecurity. The alliance aims to leverage BU’s disciplinary breadth to create opportunities for cross-disciplinary debate, research, and activities in pursuit of this goal.

The Cyber Alliance is spearheaded by the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS).

The alliance has established a seminar series to explore the interaction between cybersecurity technology, law, business, and policy. In addition, the alliance has invited field experts to give seminars at BU and supported congressional briefings to continue to grow the credentials of the University in this research area. Additionally, faculty are working to create innovative learning opportunities that bring computer science, business, and law students together to tackle challenges of data ethics, ethical leadership, and cybersecurity law.


In addition to the above BU researchers, many students as well as collaborators from Greater Boston Area institutions contribute to the BU Cyber Alliance and participate in events and related discussions.

Networks And Associations

Current Activities in 2019-2020

Since the fall of 2016, the alliance has also organized and sponsored a number of successful events. These events rotate between the School of Law, the Hariri Institute of Computing and Questrom’s Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy. The intent is to explain work in a manner that is accessible to all.

In 2019-2020, all seminars run at 3:30pm-5:00pm, with networking and refreshments at 3:30pm-3:45pm and the talk at 3:45pm-5:00pm. Most seminars are hosted in the Hariri seminar room at 111 Cummington Mall room MCS 157, or the Law School faculty lounge at 765 Commonwealth Ave room 1503.

Past Events & Activities

Awards and Honors

We are very pleased to announce that Prof. Danielle Citron has been named as a 2019 MacArthur Fellow!

Research Scholarship

Our Alliance has produced several peer-reviewed publications, newspaper articles, and manuscripts.

  • A. Bestavros. It’s time to tell students what they need to know. Published by The Washington Post.
  • R. Canetti, A. Cohen, N. Dikkala, G. Ramnarayan, S. Scheffler, and A. Smith. From Soft Classifiers to Hard Decisions: How fair can we be? Published at FAT* 2019
  • A. Z. Rozenshtein, M. Varia, and C. V. Wright. How Congress Can De-Escalate the Second Crypto War: Fund Research and Broker a Crypto Armistice. Posted at the Lawfare blog.
  • A. Sellars. Roadmap to Data Generated by New Technologies and the Stored Communications Act. Available at SSRN.
  • A. Sellars. Twenty Years of Web Scraping and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 24 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 372. Available at SSRN.
  • M. Varia. A Roadmap for Exceptional Access Research. Posted at the Lawfare blog.
  • C. V. Wright and M. Varia. Crypto Crumple Zones: Enabling Limited Access Without Mass Surveillance. Published at Euro S&P.
  • S. Goldberg. Surveillance without Borders: The “Traffic Shaping” Loophole and Why It Matters. Available at The Century Foundation.
  • R. Ingber, Interpretation Catalysts in Cyberspace. 95 Texas Law Review 1531. Available at SSRN and Scholarly Commons.
  • Looking Forward

    As the collaborations enabled by the alliance continue to grow, a number of exciting opportunities for faculty and students are being planned, including:

    • Resident scholars
    • Cross-disciplinary research
    • Joint workshops
    • Development of educational training materials for lawyers like judges and prosecutors
    • Development of curricula for joint classes to BU students

    For more information about current as well as planned activities of the BU Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance, please contact Mayank Varia, Co-Director of RISCS, at