Cyber Alliance Wraps Up Busy Fall Semester

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This fall marked the official launch of the BU Cyber Security, Law & Society Alliance, led by both Hariri Institute for Computing researchers and School of Law professors. With eight successful seminars hosted over the semester, the alliance continues to grow, bringing together computer science researchers, law professors, and social scientists to explore the interaction between cybersecurity technology, law, and policy. The past semester’s talks included presentations from BU professors Adam Smith (CS, ECE), Michael Meurer (LAW), and Ran Canetti (CS). Additionally, the seminar series brought in several external speakers, featuring Tim Edgar (Brown University), Andrew Ferguson (University of the District of Columbia), Ellen Goodman (Rutgers), Mark McKenna (University of Notre Dame), and Woodrow Hartzog (Northeastern University).

With seven events already planned for the spring 2018 semester, and more talks still being scheduled, the group is looking at complex challenges, including concepts such as state sovereignty in cyberspace, governance of the internet, automating legal compliance for data transfer, differential privacy, and how algorithmic recommendations handle racial biases. For a complete list of the spring events, please visit the Cyber Alliance webpage.

Spearheaded by the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS), the alliance aims to leverage BU’s disciplinary breadth to create opportunities for cross-disciplinary debate, research, and activities. Since the fall of 2016, the alliance has organized and sponsored a number of successful events. These events, which are on-going (see below), rotate between the School of Law and at the Hariri Institute of Computing, with BU Law faculty giving talks tailored for technically-minded audiences at the Hariri Institute, and reciprocally with RISCS researchers giving presentation tailored for social-science-minded audiences at the Law School; the intent is to explain work in a manner that is accessible to the “other side.” Looking forward, the group is working on developing a resident scholars program, facilitating cross-disciplinary research and joint workshops, and developing educational training materials and new curricula for joint BU classes.

Faculty and students who are interested in joining the Cyber Alliance list-serve and being notified about upcoming events should contact with the subject line: “Cyber Alliance list-serve request.”

For more information about the BU Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance, please contact Mayank Varia, Co-Director of RISCS and MACS project lead, at

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