Cybersecurity Policy and the Role of .Orgs

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Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. Pacific time, webcast at

The rapidly changing face of cybersecurity policy and how it might impact .orgs will be the topic of this panel. The panel will review the President's policy to protect consumers, businesses, and government agencies that rely on computer network communications. Cybersecurity has been defined as encompassing crime, fraud, spam, and threats to infrastructure, government agency websites, and businesses. The panel will explore the pitfalls of using terms like "cyber-terrorism" or "cyber-warfare" in the early formation of policy and how that might impact constitutional rights, free speech, freedom of expression, and the well-established organizing capacity of Internet advocacy-based efforts.


  • Lillie Coney: Associate Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). Moderator.
  • Peter G. Neumann: Principal Scientist, SRI Computer Science Lab.
  • Whitfield Diffie: Computer Security Consultant, former Vice President and Fellow, Chief Security Officer, Sun Microsystems
  • Timothy H. Edgar: Director for Privacy and Civil Liberties, Cybersecurity Directorate of National Security Staff.
  • Alexander Joel: Civil Liberties Protection Officer, Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Jennifer Granick: Civil Liberties Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).


On May 29, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the Administration's plan to address the growing issue of digital information security. Internet communication travels over computer networks and telecommunication systems architecture. Because of our reliance upon this architecture much of the nation's critical infrastructure is connected in some way to computer networks. Addressing digital communication system vulnerabilities touches on important privacy and security questions that must be answered, the President began this discussion on cybersecurity by stating:

"It is now clear that this cyber-threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. It's also clear that we are not as prepared as we should be as a government or as a country. In recent years some progress has been made at the federal level, but just as we failed in the past to invest in our physical infrastructure: our roads, our bridges, and rails. We failed to invest in the security of our digital infrastructure. No single official oversees cybersecurity policy across the federal government and no single agency has the responsibility or authority to match the scope and scale of the challenge..."

Cybersecurity encompasses an array of challenges to protect digital information and the systems they depend upon to effect communication. The Obama Administration is challenging federal government agencies, large technology companies, corporate America, academics, and digital media users to join efforts to secure the Internet and telecommunications systems from every form of cyber-threat or menace.

The goal of the Administration is to pursue a new aggressive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that would address all forms of cyber-based threats. The category of threats will include those faced by consumers, corporations, critical infrastructure, and networked local, state, and federal government agencies. Internet or networked computer-based communications have moved beyond an option to a necessary tool for a highly interconnected world. The Internet has fundamentally changed the social, cultural, business, political, and educational experiences of people.