35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2019)

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Panel: Disinformation and Other Harmful Messaging: Can Technology Tame the Beast It Created?

Wednesday, 11 December 2019
10:30 - 12:00

Laguna I

Panel Moderator: Ulf Lindqvist, SRI International     SLIDES

Mary Ellen Zurko, MIT Lincoln Laboratory     SLIDES
Christopher Torres-Lugo, Indiana University Bloomington     SLIDES

Micah Sherr, Georgetown University

Social media on the Internet has rapidly become a dominant arena for public discussion, news, and communication. This technology-enabled transformation of how citizens receive - and spread - news and information has also made us more vulnerable to disinformation (false information intended to deceive), misinformation (false or misleading information spread by those who believe it to be true) and other harmful messaging including violent extremist content.  What is the role of technology and technology developers in mitigating the effects of false and harmful messaging? What is our responsibility and what are our opportunities to make users less susceptible and more resilient to disinformation and other harmful content?


Ulf Lindqvist is a senior technical director in the Computer Science Laboratory at SRI International, where he manages research and development programs regarding infrastructure security for government and commercial clients. He has served in various leading roles in the security research and engineering community, including vice chair of the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative, chair of the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Committee on Security and Privacy, and general chair for the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. He holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering and a M.S. degree in computer science and engineering, both from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He was named an SRI Fellow in 2016.

Mary Ellen Zurko is a technical staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Mez has worked in product development, early product prototyping, and research, and has over 20 patents. She defined the field of User-Centered Security in 1996. She was security architect of one of IBM's earliest clouds. Her previous research also includes authorization policies, high assurance virtual machine monitors, code security, the web, and PKI. She is a founding member of the National Academies’ Forum on Cyber Resilience. She is on program and steering committees of several cybersecurity conferences. Mez received S.B and S.M. degrees in computer science from MIT.

Christopher Torres-Lugo is a doctoral student at Indiana University Networks and agents Network laboratory. His research focuses on unsupervised detection of coordinated bots in online social media. He holds an M.S. degree in computer engineering from University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.\

Micah Sherr is Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Georgetown University and director of the Georgetown Institute for Information Assurance. His academic interests include privacy-preserving technologies, e-voting security, eavesdropping and wiretap systems, operating system security, network and protocol security, and network intrusion detection. Basically, he likes breaking stuff and occasionally fixing things. Micah received his B.S.E., M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award.


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