Cyber War Is Not the Answer, But What Is? Addressing Cyber Conflict While Protecting Privacy and Internet Freedom
Timothy H. Edgar
May 14, 12:30pm ET
Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor
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This event will be webcast live at 12:30pm ET.
What does talk of cyber war mean for our liberties? The United States has a new military command for cyberspace, with the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) as its commander. At the same time, the Secretary of State has announced that the “freedom to connect” is an aspect of fundamental human rights and has criticized countries that attempt to filter the Internet. Computer networks remain insecure, as sensitive data is leaked or stolen at increasing rates. This talk will examine the legal powers available to addressing network and computer insecurity and their impact on privacy, civil liberties and other fundamental values.
Timothy H. Edgar is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. His work focuses on the unique policy challenges posed by growing global cyber conflict, particularly in reconciling security interests with fundamental values, including privacy and Internet freedom.
Mr. Edgar served under President Obama as the first ever Director of Privacy and Civil Liberties for the White House National Security Staff, focusing on cybersecurity, open government and data privacy initiatives. From 2006 to 2009, he was the first Deputy for Civil Liberties for the Director of National Intelligence, reviewing new surveillance authorities, the terrorist watchlist, and other sensitive programs. He has also been counsel for the information sharing environment, which facilitates the secure sharing of terrorism-related information.
Prior to his government service, Mr. Edgar was the national security and immigration counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, where he spearheaded the organization’s innovative left- right coalition advocating for safeguards for a number of post-9/11 counterterrorism initiatives, including the USA Patriot Act. He frequently testified before Congress and appeared in major television, radio and print media.
Publications include contributions to Patriot Debates (American Bar Association 2005), America’s Battle Against Terrorism (with Nadine Strossen) (Greenhaven Press 2005) and Women Immigrants in the United States (Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars 2002), and Constitutional Governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 Texas International Law Journal 207-237 (with Michael D. Nicoleau) (Spring 2000).
Mr. Edgar was a law clerk to Judge Sandra Lynch, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Harvard Law Review, and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.
The Obama Administration's approach:
- Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel’s speech at RSA in 2013.
- Executive Order 13636, "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," 78 Fed. Reg. 11739 (Feb. 12, 2013)
- Barack Obama, Taking the Cyberattack Threat Seriously, Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2012.
A few recent "must read" press articles:
- David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker, "Broad Powers Seen For Obama in Cyberstrikes," N.Y. Times, Feb. 3, 2013.
- William Wan and Ellen Nakashima, "Report Ties Cyberattacks on U.S. Computers to Chinese Military," Washington Post, Feb. 19, 2013.
- "The Digital Arms Trade," The Economist, March 30, 2013.
A useful pair of articles on the debate over "cyber war":