Penn State professors create nationwide cyber law and policy course for NSAPosted on August 27, 2019
CARLISLE, Pa. — Carrying a smartphone, using a wearable device, opening an app, entering a search query, or checking the weather — things many people do throughout the day — potentially may open the user’s data to collection and cybersecurity risks. The National Security Agency (NSA), recognizing an urgent need for nationwide education about cyber technology, policy and law, has worked with a trio of Penn State professors to develop a comprehensive, online, and nationally offered cyber law and policy course.
The professors, Anne Toomey McKenna, distinguished scholar of cyber law and policy at Dickinson Law and professor of practice for Penn State’s Institute for Computational And Data Sciences; James W. Houck, director of Penn State’s Center for Security Research and Education and distinguished scholar at Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs; and Scott Sigmund Gartner, director of Penn State’s School of International Affairs and professor of international affairs, designed a course that examines cyber technology, cyber governance, cyber law, and cyber policy for nonlawyers.
“Principles of Cyber Law and Policy” went live on the Clark Center site this summer as part of a broader effort through the National Initiatives in CyberSecurity Education (NICE). The course educates the public, business professionals, and our workforce about cybersecurity, cyber risks, and the law. The course consists of four primary modules broken down into thirty lesson units that cover technology, domestic law, and national security, but the units can be taught as stand-alone lessons. It is designed so that undergraduate students, national security policy professionals, and law students and professors can all take or use parts of the course.
The course is different than a typical offering on cyber or national security law or policy, as it combines technology, domestic law, and national security law and policy cohesively together in one class, according to the team. McKenna has practiced law and taught and published extensively in the fields of electronic surveillance, cyber and privacy law, and she consults regularly with intelligence agencies and government and NGO institutions; Houck is the former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy; and Gartner has published extensively on national security and is a senior advisor for a U.S. intelligence agency.
Their collective experience and unique expertise offers students a multi-faceted window into the complexities of cyber law and policy from a global perspective.
“Combining the expertise of domestic cyber law and national security professors gave the curriculum greater depth,” said Houck.
McKenna noted, “I’ve taught advanced law courses in cyber and privacy for years, but those only lightly touch upon international law in cyber operations. This course integrates all these aspects.”
“It’s important,” added Gartner, “to ensure students understand how law and policy go hand in hand. This course does that.”
The course starts with how the U.S. government is structured, and teaches the difference between federal and state court systems and explain U.S. systems of cyber governance.
“We designed the course as a good basic introduction to the topic of cyber operations, which is timely and complex,” said Houck. “We strove to capture as many elements as we could in one course. My objective was to help people understand that international cyber law is only beginning to develop and nations have a long way to go before they will agree on what it is.”
For her part, McKenna created much of the content that explains how technology and cyber communications platforms work and how they intersect with U.S. law. As she describes the course, “merging technology, domestic law, and national security law into one course was a tall order, but doing so is necessary to understanding cybersecurity today.”
McKenna, Houck and Gartner agree that self-education may equal self-protection as the digital era progresses.
“The more that people have a basic literacy of cyber law, the better off they are going to be,” Houck said.
- Featured Researcher: Nick Tusay
- Multi-institutional team to use AI to evaluate social, behavioral science claims
- NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data
- Center for Immersive Experiences set to debut, serving researchers and students
- Distant Suns, Distant Worlds
- CyberScience Seminar: Researcher to discuss how AI can help people avoid adverse drug interactions
- AI could offer warnings about serious side effects of drug-drug interactions
- Taking RTKI drugs during radiotherapy may not aid survival, worsens side effects
- Cost-effective cloud research computing options now available for researchers
- Costs of natural disasters are increasing at the high end
- Model helps choose wind farm locations, predicts output
- Virus may jump species through ‘rock-and-roll’ motion with receptors
- Researchers seek to revolutionize catalyst design with machine learning
- Resilient Resumes team places third in Nittany AI Challenge
- ‘AI in Action’: Machine learning may help scientists explore deep sleep
- Clickbait Secrets Exposed! Humans and AI team up to improve clickbait detection
- Focusing computational power for more accurate, efficient weather forecasts
- How many Earth-like planets are around sun-like stars?
- Professor receives NSF grant to model cell disorder in heart
- SMH! Brains trained on e-devices may struggle to understand scientific info
- Whole genome sequencing may help officials get a handle on disease outbreaks
- New tool could reduce security analysts’ workloads by automating data triage
- Careful analysis of volcano’s plumbing system may give tips on pending eruptions
- Reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions may plant the seed for a cooler planet
- Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
- Four ways scholars say we can cut the chances of nasty satellite data surprises
- Game theory shows why stigmatization may not make sense in modern society
- Older adults can serve communities as engines of everyday innovation
- Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud
- Researchers find genes that could help create more resilient chickens
- Despite dire predictions, levels of social support remain steady in the U.S.
- For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse
- New algorithm may help people store more pictures, share videos faster
- Head named for Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering
- Scientific evidence boosts action for activists, decreases action for scientists
- People explore options, then selectively represent good options to make difficult decisions
- Map reveals that lynching extended far beyond the deep South
- Gravitational forces in protoplanetary disks push super-Earths close to stars
- Supercomputer cluster donation helps turn high school class into climate science research lab
- Believing machines can out-do people may fuel acceptance of self-driving cars
- People more likely to trust machines than humans with their private info
- IBM donates system to Penn State to advance AI research
- ICS Seed Grants to power projects that use AI, machine learning for common good
- Penn State Berks team advances to MVP Phase of Nittany AI Challenge
- Creepy computers or people partners? Working to make AI that enhances humanity
- Sky is clearing for using AI to probe weather variability
- ‘AI will see you now’: Panel to discuss the AI revolution in health and medicine
- Privacy law scholars must address potential for nasty satellite data surprises
- Researchers take aim at hackers trying to attack high-value AI models
- Girls, economically disadvantaged less likely to get parental urging to study computers
- Seed grants awarded to projects using Twitter data
- Researchers find features that shape mechanical force during protein synthesis
- A peek at living room decor suggests how decorations vary around the world
- Interactive websites may cause antismoking messages to backfire
- Changing how government assesses risk may ease fallout from extreme financial events
- Algorithm aims to alert consumers before they use illicit online pharmacies
- Deep learning may help doctors choose better lung cancer treatments
- Using cues and actions to help people get along with artificial intelligence
- Multi-university NSF grant to boost research computing expertise