Civic Tech

The Hub for Civic Tech Impact convenes many of the research and educational programs that focus on the design, analysis, and development of computing and data science methods and systems operating within the context of legal, societal, economic, and public policy frameworks. 

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 developing and evaluating technologies that support:

  • freedom of speech and other human/constitutional rights (e.g., through private, anonymous, and secure computation and communication), 
  • open and 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),
  • evidence-based policymaking and advocacy (e.g., through democratized access to data, reproducible analytics, and usable platforms), and  
  • fighting bad actors (e.g., through tools to identify cyber-bullying, misinformation and disinformation, and 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.

Civic Tech Fellowship Program

Civic Tech Fellows demonstrate a commitment 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, and enable transparency and accountability in public institutions as well as circumvent abusive practices by government, corporate monopolies, and illicit underground organizations.

Find out more.

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.

Learn more and see the lineup of speakers for Spring 2022.