Can we share electronic information without losing our privacy?

Date & Time

Wed, 07/01/2009


Internet Scientists and Computer Security experts need empirical data to protect and understand our information infrastructure. However, obtaining that data potentially raises many questions involving privacy, the law, and ethics.

The current default is defensive. The preference is to not share network data. This occurs in an environment of an incomplete and sometimes inconsistent patchwork of regulation, law, and commercial pressures. But we are also faced with evolving considerations of both threat models and ethical behavior. The lack of a coherent response may be that society has not yet felt the pain that normally motivates legislative, judicial or policy change- explicit and immediate “body counts” or billion dollar losses.

Nevertheless, failing to share data critical to empirical Internet research is no less consequential for our critical infrastructure. The soft underbelly of our political economy is increasingly dependent on a backbone of network communications.

Panelists discussed these issues, considering botnets in the underground economy, black box data about our network infrastructure, and the policy, legal and ethical aspects of related research.



Natasha Balac
San Diego Supercomputer Center

Natasha Balac is responsible for the leadership and management of the Data Applications and Services group at SDSC. Natasha received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University as well as her Master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University. She has been with SDSC since 2003. Natasha works at UCSD’s San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Erin Kenneally
California Institute of Informations Technology and Telecommunications (Cal-IT2)/UCSD and Elchemy, Inc.

Ms. Kenneally is a licensed attorney and forensic scientist who consults, researches, publishes, and speaks on prevailing and forthcoming issues at the crossroads of information technology and the law. Ms. Kenneally holds a Cyber Forensics Analyst position at the U. of California San Diego, and is CEO of Elchemy, Inc. Kenneally liaises and consults with numerous private sector and government advisory committees and working groups engaged in IT law issues such as the US Attorney General’s Global Privacy and Information Quality Working Group (GPIQWG). Ms. Kenneally holds Juris Doctorate and Master of Forensic Sciences degrees.

Julie Wartell
San Diego District Attorney’s Office and UCSD

Julie Wartell is the Crime Analyst Coordinator for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Wartell has performed a wide range of research on and analysis of various crime problems and police-related issues, worked on the SDPD’s strategic planning effort, and coordinated the development of a series of crime mapping training modules. Julie has done extensive training and presentations to officers and analysts throughout the country on topics relating to crime analysis and problem oriented policing, has edited or authored numerous publications, and currently teaches GIS in Urban Studies at University of California – San Diego. Julie has a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Criminal Justice Administration.