January 16 Wednesday

Flat Light: Data Protection for the Disoriented, From Policy to Practice

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 12:10PM - 1:00PM
  • Room 122
  • Open To The Yale Community
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The world of information security has always had reference points – or ground truths – that, like physical features in a landscape, served as navigational features for practitioners and policymakers alike. As time has passed and the state of information security has become more uncertain, these features have eroded. As reference points, they are now either unhelpful (at best) or disinformative (at worst). A deep state of disorientation is now upon us - in privacy, in security, and beyond. In this talk, Immuta’s Chief Privacy Officer and Legal Engineer Andrew Burt (’14) and In-Q-Tel’s Dan Geer will explain how we arrived at this point, and what to do next.

The discussion will be based upon their whitepaper, “Flat Light: Data Protection for the Disoriented, From Policy to Practice,” published by Stanford’s Hoover Institution in November, available at https://www.hoover.org/research/flat-light.

Andrew Burt is Chief Privacy Officer and Legal Engineer at Immuta, and a visiting fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. Previously, Andrew was a special advisor for policy to the head of the FBI Cyber Division, where he served as lead author on the FBI’s after-action report on the 2014 attack on Sony.


Andrew has published articles on technology, history and law in the New York Times, the Financial Times, Slate, and the Yale Journal of International Affairs. His book, American Hysteria: The Untold Story of Mass Political Extremism in the United States, was called “a must-read book dealing with a topic few want to tackle” by Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.


Andrew holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from McGill University. He is a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Washington, DC, and Virginia State Bars, and a Global Information Assurance Certified (GIAC) cyber incident response handler.


Dan Geer is a security researcher with a quantitative bent, and is currently Chief Information Security Officer at In-Q-Tel. Among other achievements, his staff produced Kerberos and the X Window System, his cybersecurity consulting firm was the first on Wall Street, and he and a colleague run the Index of Cyber Security. He received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Cybersecurity Hall of Fame in 2016. 

 Dan is an electrical engineer (holding a B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT), a biostatistician (holding a Sc.D. in biostatistics from Harvard), and someone who thinks truth is best achieved by adversarial procedures (school of hard knocks).

 Dan’s public work can be accessed at http://geer.tinho.net/pubs.

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