Civic Tech

In the context of computing and data sciences, Civic Tech is about development of tools, software, and algorithms that are increasingly critical for a healthy civic society as well as the evaluation of these technologies in legal, regulatory, and social contexts. 

This includes:

  • development and evaluation of computing and data science technologies that support freedom of speech and other human/constitutional rights (e.g., through private, anonymous, and secure computation and communication), 
  • open/transparent governance (e.g., through support for verifiability, auditability, and accountability of information systems), 
  • protection from abusive practices (e.g., through anti- surveillance, blockchain, virtual currencies, and open-source software), and
  • advocacy and activism (through open data sharing and access platforms), 
  • fighting bad actors (e.g., through tools to identify cyber-bullying, misinformation and disinformation, deep fakes).

We are committed to the development and evaluation of technologies that enhance engagement between individuals and governments, empower citizens to fuel social change, support evidence-based policy making, improve communal decision-making processes, deliver government services efficiently and equitably, and enable transparency and accountability in public institutions as well as circumvent abusive practices by government, corporate monopolies, and illicit underground organizations.

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.