Susan Landau
Harvard University

Surveillance or Security?  The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies
photo of ​Susan LandauAbstract: The United States has moved large portions of business and commerce, including the control of critical infrastructure, online. This reliance on information systems leaves the U.S. highly exposed and vulnerable to cyberattack. Yet despite this, U.S. law enforcement and national security policy remain firmly focused on building wiretapping systems whin communications infrastructure. These surveillance paradigms do not easily fit the new technologies. By embedding eavesdropping mechanisms into communication technology itself, we are building tools that could easily be turned against us. Indeed, such attacks have already occurred. In a world that has Al-Qaeda, nation-state economic espionage, and Hurricane Katrina, how do we get communications security right.

Biography: Susan Landau is a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the 2010-2011 academic year. Her book, "Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies," will be published by MIT Press in March 2011. From 1999-2010 Landau was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems; there she concentrated on the interplay between security and public policy. Landau has briefed government officials in both Washington and Europe on such disparate issues as security risks in surveillance mechanisms, digital rights management, and cryptographic export control, and she has written numerous articles and op-eds on these issues. Most recently she testified for the House Science Committee on Cybersecurity Activities at NIST's Information Technology Laboratory.

She and Whitfield Diffie wrote "Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption." Landau is a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency, established by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and serves on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council and on the advisory committee for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science Engineering.

Before joining Sun, Landau was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts and Wesleyan University. Landau is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Vision Social Impact Award, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an ACM Distinguished Engineer.