Program Highlights

At Tufts, students experience small class sizes, a personalized path of study, mentorship from professors at the top of their fields, and collaborative research that crosses disciplines — all just five miles from the high-tech hubs of Boston and Cambridge. Tufts has a robust slate of programmatic offerings in the area of cybersecurity and policy, including career panels and talks on cybersecurity policy, programming infrastructure, telecommunications policy, and more. Please find highlights from our symposia, internships and coursework below.

Tufts Team Places 2nd at 2021 Cyber 9/12 Competition

The Cyber 9/12 competition, run by the Atlantic Council, was hosted by the Strauss Center at UT Austin on Jan 8-9, 2021. Participants had to create policy responses to a fictitious ransomware attack which targeted hospitals as the COVID-19 vaccine was being distributed.

18 teams participated, many of which were composed of masters students with years of experience working in government/policy roles. The first place team was from the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy (and included team members with over 10 years of experience working in the government/military) and the third place team was from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The 2nd place team consisted of three Tufts undergraduates and one CS masters student, coached by Keifer Chiang ’20 (CS/IR).

  • Ann Marie Burke ’22 (CS)
  • Akash Mishra ’22 (CS/IR)
  • Mike Rogove (CS Masters Student)
  • Grant Versfeld ’21 (CS/STS)

More info about the winners can be found here.

A Conversation on Cryptography with Jim Baker & Susan Landau

Jim Baker

Jim Baker, Director of National Security and Cybersecurity at the R Street Institute, a CNN legal analyst and a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, participated in a Conversation on Cryptography with Professor Susan Landau on February 12, 2020, in 205 Cabot Hall. The conversation was moderated by Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Policy Josephine Wolff. Baker is also the former general counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This event was co-sponsored by the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs and a part of the Hitachi Center for Technology & International Affairs Speaker Series.

Fletcher Team Wins Cyber 9/12 Competition!

Tufts University fielded three teams in the Spring 2020 Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge held at Columbia University in New York City on November 8 and 9. Two teams, FSociety and Team Zeno, were comprised of graduate students from The Fletcher School. Jackie Faselt, Ben Ballard, Melanie Barlow, and Andrew Seligson of FSociety won the competition.

The runner-up teams were from Wellesley College and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Another team consisted of undergraduate students from Tufts: Brendan Brennan, ‘A21; August Moore, ‘A21; Grant Versfeld, ‘A21; and Dylan Hoffmann, ‘A20. Moore, Versfield, and Hoffmann are computer science majors, while Brennan is an international relations major.

Summer 2019 Cybersecurity Policy Fellows:

Alexandria Hayman, Arts & Sciences ’19: Research Intern for the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

While at the Cyber Policy Initiative, Alexandria supported the senior fellows and analysts in their work, providing literature reviews, cyber event timelines, and memos summarizing key issues pertinent to ongoing research projects. Topic areas relevant to the fellows included AI and machine learning attack vectors, hardware supply chain vulnerabilities, and cyber insurance in the private sector. Alexandria also conducted preliminary research and analysis on ongoing cyber war risk clause lawsuits (I.e., Merck v. ACE et al.) and compiled a comprehensive list of GNSS spoofing and jamming incidents to be used in a later publication.

Michael Teodori, Fletcher School ’19: Security and Surveillance Team Intern, the Center for Democracy and Technology

The Center for Democracy and Technology is a tech policy think tank whose main missions are to advance digital rights and promote awareness about issues at the intersection between law and technology. During Michael’s internship, he focused mainly on legal questions arising from law enforcement access to personal data held by technology companies, while also conducting extensive research on border surveillance and security technology employed by the U.S. government.

Trickle-Down Surveillance Tech and the Administrative Fourth Amendment

By Mailyn Fidler, Research Affiliate at Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School. This paper was presented at the 2019 Student Symposium in Cybersecurity Policy at Tufts University in April 2019 and will be published by the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal in Summer 2020.

Mailyn Fidler

Abstract: Police surveillance has become a problem of governance, not a problem of procedure. The introduction and use of sophisticated surveillance technologies, once reserved for elite central governments, in local policing has raised questions about the sufficiency of existing approaches. Judicial oversight—applying standard Fourth Amendment inquiries—falls short, hampered in scope by the facts of the case and with judges often unaware of or unable to access key technical details of the case. Other alternatives, including legislative guidelines for police technology and local police rulemaking, are lacking in other ways. This paper argues that the proper response to use of sophisticated investigative technologies by local police is local administrative governance by city councils. Having an external administrative body make rules about police technology brings with it an ability to consider expanded concerns about technology, timeliness, and an ability to regulate interactions with private actors.

There are reasons to be worried about this proposal, too. But, drawing on the nascent literature about local administrative governance, this proposal is most likely to be responsive, accountable, and effective in the local context. In addition to offering a set of legal arguments, this paper contains two novel descriptive contributions. First, where other papers have focused on the legal risks of certain technologies, this paper compiles a comprehensive look at a range of police technologies and systematically analyzes the risks they pose both legally and at the local level. Second, this paper offers the first comprehensive assessment of the current efforts that localities have made towards implementing this kind of local administrative governance for police technology. 

Selected Coursework