Vint Cerf Speaking at MSU on 10 May @ 3:30PM



The Internet grew out of a successful US Defense Department experiment in packet switching and became a platform upon which a wide range of new applications have evolved. New technologies such as smart phones have reinforced the utility of the Internet by spreading access to it at increasing bandwidths and geographic scope. The Internet is estimated to have reached about 50% of the world’s population. As this decade comes to a close, what challenges remain and what new ideas may be pursued? Security, safety, reliability, misinformation, botnets, privacy, and a host of other concerns clamor for attention. Powerful machine learning tools and collaborative technologies are increasing our capacity to solve problems and ask new and challenging questions.

This talk raises questions and poses problems that need attention if we are to make of the Internet the tool it has the capacity to become.

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University.

Vint Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Cerf is a Foreign Member of the British Royal Society and Swedish Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the Worshipful Company of Stationers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery, chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and completed a term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. President Obama appointed him to the National Science Board in 2012.

Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Tunisian National Medal of Science, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and 29 honorary degrees. In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s “25 Most Intriguing People.”

His personal interests include fine wine, gourmet cooking and science fiction. Cerf and his wife, Sigrid, were married in 1966 and have two sons, David and Bennett.

Tags: , , , , , ,

A catalog of cyber security conferences across Michigan


Charles Villanueva manages a “gigantic Cybersecurity Conference Directory which lists nearly a thousand events” – and this is truly incredible. So if you feel you can’t keep up with all the conferences, you are probably not alone. His URL is

The Quello Center is involved in a number of cybersecurity projects, including Oxford Martin’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Center at the University of Oxford. See:

Tags: , , , , ,

The Idea of a Cyber Security Mindset


What is a cyber security mindset and why is it important?

Quello’s Professor of Media and Information Policy has just published an article in Internet Policy Review, a journal on Internet regulation, entitled ‘Fostering a Cyber Security Mindset’. It seeks to introduce the concept and suggest ways in which research on who has such a mindset and what difference it can make to cyber security can be furthered. It is available free online at:

Dutton, William. (2017), ‘Fostering a Cyber Security Mindset’, Internet Policy Review, 6(1): DOI: 10.14763/2017.1.443

Tags: , , , ,

Spooking & Snooping Post Snowden



by A. Michael Noll

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been the center of much attention as a result of the revelations released by Mr. Snowden’s theft of classified documents. Although everyone now screams in horror about the scope of the spying, only the most naïve did not realize what was happening. At a time when the NSA is under tremendous scrutiny and criticism by civil libertarians and privacy advocates, I come to its defense with the advice: please continue to snoop; but obey the law, respect our rights, and avoid publicity.

A. Michael Noll

A. Michael Noll

The NSA was formed after the Second World War to be responsible for breaking enemy codes and also for securing our communications. In my opinion, the NSA has done a fantastic job and helped win the Cold War. I worked closely with the NSA during the early 1970s and was impressed with its professional and technological competence – and the strong commitment of its people to obeying the law and protecting our Constitution.

For an agency that is so strongly committed to security, I was surprised by the serious lapses that enabled Mr. Snowden to have access to all he stole. That to me was the real scandal – and the NSA must have been deeply embarrassed.

Years ago, when asked what “NSA” stood for; its employees would say “No Such Agency” or the “National Salvage Agency.” Well, today we know that the NSA indeed salvages data in vast quantities and then attempts to extract information from it all. In the end, it becomes an issue of data overload and how do you extract meaningful information from all the data? How do you balance the computer processing with human intelligence? How does old-fashioned spooking interface with all the technology? How is coordination and collaboration across all the spooking agencies achieved to make sense of it all?

The reality is that nothing today is “secure.” Everybody is listening to everybody — and everybody knows that. Snowden just made this more public.
In the old days, it was voice telephone calls that were captured. But the automatic processing of speech was challenging – there were not enough people to listen to all the calls, and computers had to help perform this task. Email and texting are just text — considerably easier and thus more tempting to record everything for later processing.

The NSA has a tradition of hiding in the background and shunning publicity. All this public attention must be very troublesome. I worry that our intelligence gathering and spying might be damaged, but hope the recent attention might just challenge it to be even better.
A. Michael Noll is an associate of the Quello Center and Professor Emeritus of Communications at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. During the early 1970s, he was on the staff of the Presidential Science Advisor and was responsible for computer security, privacy, and Cold War issues.

Tags: , , , , ,

New Reports on Personal Data Focus on Trust, Privacy and Transparency


William H. Dutton, incoming Director of MSU’s Quello Center, and Quello Chair of Media and Information Policy, was the lead author of one of three new reports released by the World Economic Forum on strengthening trust, transparency and privacy in personal data usage. The reports are part of the WEF’s Rethinking Personal Data initiative, which was launched in 2010.

“I hope this initiative leads the industry and other key actors to assume leadership in addressing the concerns of users over their privacy and rights to free expression – concerns that are documented by our research,” Dutton said. “No one should be complacent about the continued vitality of the Internet.”

Rethinking Personal Data: A New Lens for Strengthening Trust, prepared in collaboration with A.T. Kearney, looks at how to enhance transparency and accountability in the use of personal data. It argues that a user-centered approach is the best way of achieving this. Individuals must have more of a say in how their data is used and should be able to use the data for their own purposes.

“In order to build a truly sustainable personal data economy, regaining the trust of individuals over the use of their data is imperative,” said Naveen Menon, Partner and APAC Head of Communications, Media and Technology at A.T. Kearney. “This means finding new ways to connect and provide them with choices that enable them to return to a sense of control over data usage.”

Supporting this analysis are two quantitative studies that look at the issues of trust, privacy and framework through the eyes of users. Rethinking Personal Data: Trust and Context in User-Centered Data Ecosystems, an empirical study across different countries, examines the importance of context-aware data usage and how it impacts trust.

The Internet Trust Bubble: Global Values, Beliefs and Practices uses the results from a survey of 16,000 respondents to assess the attitudes and behavior of Internet users globally. It shows that individuals are on the whole positive about the opportunities offered by the Internet, particularly related to freedom of expression. However, the report highlights concerns over privacy, surveillance and security.

The Rethinking Personal Data initiative brings together private companies, public sector representatives, end-user privacy and rights groups, academics and topic experts to examine how to create a principled, collaborative and balanced personal-data ecosystem. Executives from AT&T, A.T. Kearney, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Telefonica, VimpelCom and Visa are on its steering board.

Dutton currently is Professor of Internet Studies at the University of Oxford. He also is a Professorial Fellow of Balliol College and is the Founding Director of Oxford’s Internet Institute, a position he held from 2002 to 2011. He will begin his new position as Director and Chair of the Quello Center in August 2014.

Located in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University, the Quello Center was established in 1998 to be a worldwide focal point for excellence in research, teaching and the development and application of telecommunication management and policy.

Tags: ,