October 26 Tuesday

CANCELED: From Russia With Love, David Thaw, University of Pittsburgh

  • Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 12:00PM - 1:30PM
  • Online
  • Open To The Public
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This Article examines modern Election Interference, distinguishing between the concepts of "Election Hacking" and "Influence Operations."  Election Hacking, a widely-used colloquialism, is best understood as targeting election infrastructure and records.  This is critically distinguished from Influence Operations, which are persuasive messaging targeting individuals' choices whether or how to vote.  The types of problems presented by -- and therefore solutions amenable to -- each category are strikingly different.  For example, notwithstanding repeated statements and ex post judicial and administrative agency reviews confirming the "security" of the 2020 election, much remains publicly unknown regarding the degree to which foreign or otherwise unlawful Influence Operations may have impacted the outcome of that election and the 2016 election.  This Article argues that Influence Operations are the more legally worrisome category, as ex ante legal solutions face steep First Amendment hurdles and ex post legal redress either is unavailable or non-justiciable.  Notwithstanding these limitations, there is cause for optimism in the form of mitigation steps available to private actors not as limited by the First Amendment and intelligence and information sharing activities the government and political actors can enable to facilitate -- but not dictate -- those private actors' choices.

David Thaw is a professor of law and computing & information at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellow of the Yale Information Society Project and of the Nebraska Technology Governance Center.  He is an internationally-recognized expert in law and technology, focusing on cybersecurity and related issues including cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.  David's work has appeared in numerous law reviews, peer-reviewed scientific journals, and includes his recently-published textbook Cybersecurity: An Interdisciplinary Problem.  Dr. Thaw also founded and is faculty director of the CyREN Laboratory, which uses advanced simulation technologies to investigate experimentally how adversaries compromise information systems.  He has testified before and advised the legislatures and policymaking bodies of the United States and several allied nations, served as the Reporter to the Uniform Law Commission's Study Committee on Cybercrime, served on the advisory boards of several multinational technology companies, and led multiple technology start-ups.  David holds a Ph.D. and law degree from UC Berkeley.

Contact heather.branch@yale.edu for the link.

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