DC to DEF CON: Q&A with Congressmen James Langevin and Will Hurd

Presented at DEF CON 25 (2017), July 30, 2017, 3 p.m. (120 minutes)

The past year has seen major disruptions at the intersection of security and society. “Cybersecurity” has been thrust into the public consciousness frighteningly widely and quickly. Issues of public policy impact our colleagues and our community, beyond the technology layer. Some in the public policy community are actively encouraging our community to engage, recognizing the need for a technically literate voice of reason from the security research community. DEF CON is proud to host two members of Congress, who braved their way from DC to DEF CON as ambassadors from their community to ours. Joshua Corman will engage Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), in a candid, on-the-record “fireside chat” style conversation. DEF CON attendees will hear their perspectives on the state of cyber policy and what can be done to improve technical literacy in the dialogs. The members will also reflect on their experience at DEF CON, hanging out with hackers, and how they can make their voice known in the public policy conversation.


  • Joshua Corman - Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center
    Joshua Corman is the director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center and a founder of I am The Cavalry (dot org). Corman previously served as CTO for Sonatype, director of security intelligence for Akamai, and in senior research and strategy roles for The 451 Group and IBM Internet Security Systems. He co-founded @RuggedSoftware and @IamTheCavalry to encourage new security approaches in response to the world's increasing dependence on digital infrastructure. Josh's unique approach to security in the context of human factors, adversary motivations, and social impact has helped position him as one of the most trusted names in security. He also serving as an adjunct faculty for Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College and on the 2016 HHS Cybersecurity Task Force.
  • Representative Will Hurd - (R-TX)
    Rep Hurd was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He attended John Marshall High School and Texas A&M University, where he majored in Computer Science and served as Student Body President. After college, Will served as an undercover officer in the CIA in the Middle East and South Asia for nearly a decade, collecting intelligence that influenced the National Security agenda. Upon leaving the CIA, he became a Senior Advisor with a cybersecurity firm, covering a wide range of complex challenges faced by manufacturers, financial institutions, retailers, and critical infrastructure owners. He was also a partner with a strategic advisory firm helping businesses expand into international markets. In 2015, Will was elected to the 114th Congress and currently serves on the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform and chairs the Information Technology Subcommittee. He also sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and is the Vice Chair of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. In 2017, Will was appointed by Speaker Ryan to serve on the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, to replace Representative Mike Pompeo upon his confirmation as Director of the CIA.
  • Representative James Langevin - (D-RI)
    Rep. Langevin first ran for office in 1986, when he was elected a Delegate to Rhode Island’s Constitutional Convention and served as its secretary. Two years later, he won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives. In 1994, Langevin defeated a Republican incumbent to become the nation’s youngest Secretary of State. He transformed the office into “the people’s partner in government” and took on the challenge of reforming Rhode Island’s outdated election system. Langevin also established the state’s Public Information Center and, with Brown University, published “Access Denied,” which examined the General Assembly’s compliance with the Open Meetings Law and documented routine and widespread violations. In 1998, Langevin easily won re-election to his second term as Secretary of State, achieving the largest plurality of any general officer in this century, and in 2000, he made a successful run for the U.S. House of Representatives, where he has served the Second Congressional District ever since. Langevin graduated from Rhode Island College and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He resides in Warwick, Rhode Island