Lawful Access Panel

Presented at Black Hat USA 2013, July 31, 2013, 2:15 p.m. (60 minutes)

Protecting yourself, your network and your users when the FBI or NSA knocks:

When you get a National Security Letter, no one can hear you scream. Being served with a search warrant for a criminal investigation can be scary enough, but national security investigations can be downright Kafkaesque. You probably won't be allowed to tell anyone about it. And they may ask for more than just user data, such as for backdoor access or to install special monitoring hardware or software deep inside your network. This panel will bring together a range of expertise on the perils of secret "lawful intercepts" in today's networks. We'll discuss the technical risks of surveillance architectures, the legal and technical defenses against over-broad or invasive searches, and actual experiences fighting against secret surveillance orders.


  • Alan Davidson
    Alan B. Davidson is currently a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Sloan School of Management and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Until 2012 he was the Director of Public Policy for Google in the Americas. Alan opened Google's Washington, D.C. office in 2005, and led the company's public policy and government relations efforts in North and South America. Prior to joining Google, Alan was Associate Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, where he led projects on Internet free expression, encryption policy and surveillance, digital copyright, and Internet governance. Alan has a S.B. in math and computer science and an S.M. in technology and policy from MIT, and is a graduate of the Yale Law School.
  • Jennifer Valentino-DeVries - The Wall Street Journal
    Jennifer Valentino-DeVries works on special projects for The Wall Street Journal. There, she has been a key member of the team behind "What They Know," the Journal's long-running series on digital privacy. In 2012, the team was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. Jennifer's current reporting focuses on technological tracking and surveillance and the impact these have on business, society and the law. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and has a master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
  • Brewster Kahle
    A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: making information free and accessible through digital means. While a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Kahle studied artificial intelligence. Soon after graduating, he helped found the company Thinking Machines, a supercomputer maker. In 1989, Mr. Kahle created the Internet's first publishing system called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) and established WAIS, Inc. With The Wall Street Journal as its first customer, the company revolutionized the electronic publishing market and Mr. Kahle eventually sold the company to America Online. In 1996, Mr. Kahle founded the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital libraries in the world. With a staff of nearly 200, and 100 partnering libraries, the organization is working to create an online catalog of every book ever created. Also, in 1996 Mr. Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, a service that collects data on web browsing behavior for future analysis, which was sold to in 1999. Mr. Kahle received a B.S. in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Mary Austin started The Kahle/Austin Foundation, which supports the Internet Archive along with other non-profit organizations with similar goals. Additionally, Mr. Kahle is the founder of Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations contributing to a permanent, publicly accessible archive of digitized texts. Kahle is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and serves on the boards of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the European Archive, and the Television Archive. He is a member of the advisory board of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress, and is a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. In 2010 he was given an honorary doctorate in computer science from Simmons College, where he studied library science in the 1980s. Also, in 2010 he was given an honorary doctorate in Law at the University of Alberta.
  • Matt Blaze - University of Pennsylvania
    Matt Blaze is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Distributed Systems Lab. His research focuses on security, privacy, large scale systems, and the relationship between technology and public policy. He has analyzed the security properties of a number of surveillance systems, from the ill-faded "Clipper Chip" to the latest "lawful intercept" proposals. He is the author of numerous research papers and studies, and is frequently called upon to testify in congress on the implications of surveillance technologies.


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