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Susan Landau: Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies

Thursday, April 21, 2011
8:00 pm


105 Computer Science


Large portions of business and commerce have been moved onto IP-based networks — leaving us highly exposed and vulnerable to cyberattack. Despite this, US law enforcement and national security policy remain firmly focused on building wiretapping systems within the communications infrastructure: surveillance paradigms that do not easily fit the new technologies of the Internet. Are we building tools that could be easily turned against us? How do we get communications security right?

Susan Landau is a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the 2010-2011 academic year. From 1999-2010, Landau was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, where she concentrated on the interplay between security and public policy. Landau is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Vision Social Impact Award, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an ACM Distinguished Engineer. Her research interests include security risks in surveillance mechanisms, digital rights management, and cryptographic export control. Landau’s new book is titled Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posted by New Wiretapping Technologies, published by MIT Press. More information on this topic is available on her website at