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Protecting the State, Protecting our Homes: governing and designing cybersecurity
As our society has become increasingly dependent on information infrastructures that reach into our pockets, homes and workplaces, we have become increasing vulnerable to attacks on and through these systems. Cybersecurity is perhaps one of the most important modern threats that we don’t talk enough about. Adversaries range from specialist military government teams attacking infrastructure and penetrating state organisations, or managing large scale organised theft of commercial secrets, state sponsored and commercial criminal groups that are stealing personal data, run ransomware attacks on hospitals and business, through to teenage hackers doing simple denial of service attacks on their friends, or even spying via home webcams. Why do our systems have these vulnerabilities? How can we improve legal, technical and human dimensions of design and use to ensure future protection and resilience?
Dr Lachlan Urquhart is a Senior Lecturer in Technology Law and Human-Computer Interaction at the Edinburgh Law School. He is Founder and Director of the Regulation and Design (RAD) Lab. He is a Director of both the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance, and Privacy (CRISP) and the Scottish Research Centre for Intellectual Property and Technology Law (SCRIPT). He is part of the management team of the Designing Responsible NLP Centre for Doctoral Training, and the Institute of Design Informatics. His monograph, Clever Computing through Accountable Design, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Lachlan has published over 60 papers in leading venues in computing, law, and ethics. He has been an investigator on projects totalling nearly £17m. He is currently Principal Investigator of the £1.2m EPSRC ‘Fixing the Future: Right to Repair and Equal-IoT’ project and is Co-Investigator on the £9.75m Responsible Natural Language Processing AI CDT; the £3.2m EPSRC Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Governance Node, and various projects in the EPSRC Horizon Trusted Data Driven Products hub. He was also investigator on the now completed ESRC Emotional AI in Smart Cities project , EPSRC Defence Against Dark Artefacts and TAS Hub Envisioning Biometric AI Futures project.
His main research interests are in the socio-technical aspects of designing, living with, and regulating emerging information technologies. He has a multidisciplinary background in computer science (PhD) and law (LL.B; LL.M) and has studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, and Nottingham. He is an editor on the Routledge Studies in Surveillance book series. He is a Visiting Researcher at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute and member of the international Emotional AI Lab. He has been a visiting scientist at Fraunhofer AICOS, Porto (2021); a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute (2020-22), a Research Fellow at the Information Society Law Centre, Universitá degli Studi di Milano (2022-23), and a visiting researcher at Centre for Business Information Ethics, Meiji University, Tokyo (2014). At Edinburgh, he was the Law School lead for the Centre for Data, Culture, and Society 2019-2023; and is a research associate at the Edinburgh Futures Institute.
Tariq Elahi received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and was fortunate to have Ian Goldberg as his supervisor. His thesis centered on censorship resistance systems and analyses of their security and privacy properties. He received his MSc from Royal Holloway – University of London under the supervision of Kenny Paterson where he investigated anonymous communications and file sharing systems. He researches computer and network security and privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) with an emphasis on effective, efficient, and robust deployments. His research has, and continues to, span the systematization and the game-theoretic analysis of censorship resistance and circumvention systems, security analysis and designs of anonymous communication systems, and privacy-preserving data collection in privacy-sensitive scenarios. He is interested in novel applications and enhancements to PETs techniques and strategies to exotic environments, such as Smart Cities where standard trust and availability assumptions need not apply.