CLA Hale Lecture Series

Thursday, April 26th

4-5:30 PM

Liberal Arts Hall

Room A205 (Basement Level)


Josephine Wolff

Rochester Institute of Technology

Public Policy & Computing Security


“A Brief History of Ethical Hacking"

For decades, laws in the United States and elsewhere have narrowly circumscribed the types of computer-based activities considered legal, drawing sharp and sometimes surprising distinctions between legitimate computer use and cybercrime. In this talk, I will briefly discuss two of the most significant pieces of legislation in the U.S. that have defined these distinctions between legal and illegal hacking--the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--how these distinctions were drawn, and how they have continued to be applied as our devices and networks have changed, often in controversial cases that stray far from their initial intent. The second part of the talk will focus on how our understanding of what might constitute "ethical" (or legal) hacking has shifted over the past five years and the different mechanisms by which companies, courts, and Congress have explored in recent years for trying to create viable avenues for individuals and researchers to engage in hacking activities that have previously been viewed as criminal. The talk will conclude with some discussion of why distinguishing between legal, or ethical, hacking activities and illegal cybercrimes continues to be a challenge and possible paths forward.


Interpreters provided upon request & subject to availability.

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Cassandra Shellman


Event Snapshot
When and Where
Thursday, April 26, 2018
4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Liberal Arts Hall, Room A205 (Basement Level)

Open to the Public

Interpreter Requested