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[Colloquium] Understanding Cyberattack as an Instrument of U.S. Policy

April 22, 2010

Watch Colloquium: 

Quicktime file (461 MB)
AVI file (453 MB)

  • Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010 
  • Time: 2 pm (Panel begins at 3 pm ) 
  • Place: Mechanical Engineering, Room 218

Herbert S. Lin
Chief Scientist, CSTB
National Academies

Abstract: Much has been written about the possibility that terrorists or hostile nations might conduct cyberattacks against critical sectors of the U.S. economy. However, the possibility that the United States might conduct its own cyberattacks — defensively or otherwise — has received almost no public discussion. Recently, the US National Academies performed a comprehensive unclassified study of the technical, legal, ethical, and policy issues surrounding cyberattack as an instrument of U.S. policy. This talk will provide a framework for understanding this emerging topic and the critical issues that surround it.

Bio: Herbert S. Lin is chief scientist for the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board where he directs major study projects at the intersection of public policy and information technology. Relevant for this talk, he was study director of the 2009 Academy study “Technology, Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities.” He previously served as staff scientist in defense policy and arms control for the House Armed Services Committee. Lin holds a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Panel: David Ackley (Associate Professor, UNM Dept. of Computer Science;External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute) Daniel Dennett (University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University; Miller Scholar, Santa Fe Institute) Robert Hutchinson (Senior Manager for Computer Science and Information Operations; Sandia National Laboratories) Herbert Lin (Chief Scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies) Andrew Ross (Director, UNM Center for Science, Technology and Policy; Professor, UNM Dept. of Political Science)

The report is availble here and as a PDF. Questions about this event can be directed to crandall at