Symposium Explores the Legal Implications of the U.S. Response to Cybersecurity Threats


Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2012 – According to the Obama Administration, cyberthreats are “one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces.” An upcoming American University Law Review symposium will address the legal implications of cybersecurity threat responses—including regulation, standard setting, agency interactions, breach disclosures, and monitoring.

The event, America the Virtual: Security, Governance, and Interoperability in an Interconnected World, will take place Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at Hogan Lovells, Fullbright Conference Center (555 13th St N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004).

Government officials, industry representatives, legal practitioners, and academic experts are among the featured speakers and expected attendees. Ivan Fong, senior vice president, legal affairs, and general counsel for 3M Co., and former general counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will give keynote remarks.

“Cybersecurity has taken on a prominent role in policy-making at the highest levels of government,” said Jorge Contreras, professor at American University Washington College of Law and event participant. “But what legal issues underlie the need to secure the cyber-infrastructure? How do the intricate and complex technical standards developed by corps of volunteers ensure that key networks will remain safe? And how will the shifting landscape of Internet governance play into security and safety? I’m pleased that the American University Law Review symposium’s panels of high-profile experts will be addressing these key questions.”

Panel topics:

  • The Promise and Peril of Being Interconnected, Interoperable, and Intelligent - the role of cybersecurity in Smart Grid, Mobile Payment Systems, and Health Information.
  • Cybersecurity & Lawthe current legal and legislative efforts to address cybersecurity, cyberthreats, and preserve civil liberties
  • Internet Governmance: Who Will Lead the Way?whether different governance structures for the Internet promote greater security, stability, or public confidence, and the future ofInternet governance.

“As a nation, we are struggling to keep pace with today's rapidly evolving cybersecurity threat landscape,” said Melanie Teplinksy, adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law, and participant in the upcoming symposium. “In recent weeks, we have witnessed unprecedented denial of service attacks on major U.S. financial institutions, a major cyberattack on Saudi Aramco—the world's most valuable company; failed cybersecurity legislation; a controversial Administration plan to issue a presidential directive on cybersecurity; and the renewed possibility of cybersecurity legislation during the lame-duck session.  AULR's symposium will bring togethersome of the country's top legal minds to address these and other cybersecurity issues critical to our future economic and national security.”

High profile speakers and moderators include:

  • Tim Andrews, vice president, Health Team; Booz, Allen, Hamilton.
  • George W. Arnold, national coordinator, Smart Grid Interoperability; National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • J. Beckwith ("Becky") Burr, chief privacy officer, Neustar.
  • Paul Brigner, North American regional director; Internet Society (ISOC).
  • Jorge Contreras, associate professor, American University Washington College of Law.
  • Laura DeNardis, associate professor, School of Communication, American University.
  • Ivan Fong, senior vice president, legal affairs, and general counsel, 3M Co.; former general counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, partner, Monument Policy Group.
  • Tom Kellermann, vice president of cyber security, Trend Micro.
  • Mike McNerney, former cyber policy advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Harriet Pearson, partner, Hogan Lovells.
  • Rashmi Rangnath, director, Global Knowledge Initiative; Public Knowledge.
  • Thomas J. Smedinghoff, partner, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.
  • Melanie Teplinsky, adjunct professor, American University Washington College of Law.
  • Lucy Thomson, chair, American Bar Association’s Section of Science and Technology Law.
  • Eric Wenger, policy counsel for cybersecurity, standards, and interoperability, Microsoft.

Read more information about the symposium or register.

Media inquiries can be directed to Megan Smith, 202-274-4276.


About American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit