Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations

Edward Snowden’s Damage to the U.S. Cyber-Security Structure

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • The Madison Club, 5 E Wilson St

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Speaker:  Professor Barton Miller,  UW Madison Department of Computer Science

In June of 2013, Edward Snowden stole more than 1.5 million top secret documents that he obtained from the computer systems of the National Security Agency (NSA), disclosing a substantial amount of this material to the U.S. and foreign media. While he stated that his motivation was to publicize the NSA’s illegal collection of information on U.S citizens, documents on that topic accounted for only a tiny part of what he took. Among the rest, were documents that contained many details of our intelligence networks and of the critical techniques that the NSA and our allies used for CNE (computer network exploitation). Following Snowden, there have been several other troubling disclosures of NSA data, publicizing even more CNE tools and techniques.

The result of these disclosures has been a steady stream of cyber attacks with criminal, terror, and political motivations.  This leads us to some important questions about whether the U.S. or any country should be conducting CNE research (Professor Miller will argue the necessity of saying yes on this one), what limits should be placed on such research, how these events have affected our relationship with our allies, and what the recent disclosures have meant for our ability to conduct effective intelligence? He will share his views, but he hopes to provide a forum for an active group discussion on these topics.
 
The factual narrative will be based on information that can be found in open (non-classified and public) sources.

Miller is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Amar & Belinder Sohi Professor in Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also the Chief Scientist of the DHS Software Assurance Marketplace Research Facility and a Principle Investigator on the U.S. National Science Foundation Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. His research spans the areas of computer security and high-performance computing. He has published widely and lectures and teaches around the world on computer security topics.
 
Miller has served on advisory boards and committees at the Los Alamos National Labs, Institute for Defense Analysis, and U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. He has also served on the UW-Madison University Committee Working Group on Classified Research and Campus Task Force on Software Intellectual Property.

He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery.

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