Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Cybersecurity Hires CIA Veteran

Michael Hayden, retired Air Force general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has signed on as a senior adviser to Georgetown’s new Cybersecurity Policy Initiative.

Hayden, who led the CIA during the last three years of the Bush administration, will support the project by providing contacts and expertise accumulated during decades of service in the top ranks of the U.S. intelligence establishment.

“He won’t be sitting in a room here doing research,” said Catherine Lotrionte, associate director of the Institute for Law, Science and Global Security. “We have myself and grad students who are doing [research]. But he will be attending meetings and helping with grant applications, networking, intellectual issues [and] business development.”

The Institute for Law, Science and Global Security has formed the core of the informal coalition.

“I am looking forward to the partnership between academics, scientists and private enterprises in order to develop practical solutions to the national security challenges facing the United States,” Hayden said in a university press release.

Research by the institute’s professors and graduate students on the security of electronic communications and information led to the creation of the initiative in 2008. In 2009, the institute, with the support of the university, began to collaborate with partners ranging from the Department of Computer Science at Georgetown and Raytheon, a large defense contractor.

The initiative has sponsored major cybersecurity events, such as a simulation of a cyber attack on the United States conceived by Hayden and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank, last Tuesday. The exercise, which featured a cast including former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, will be featured this weekend in a special report on CNN.

The event highlighted the United States’ lack of readiness for electronic warfare.

“There are problems of attribution – who carried out the attack? Then, does the president have legal authority to take action to stop the attack? And we have questions of jurisdiction – how to deal with servers located in other countries, allies or not,” Lotrionte said.

Students at Georgetown echo these sentiments. Chris Newsome (COL ’13) said he has become more informed on the subject in his Introduction to Information Privacy class, taught by Edward Moran, faculty member in the computer science department.

“[Moran] has emphasized how little control we have over the Internet, including how porous Georgetown’s own technologies are,” Newsome said. “[Hayden’s arrival will be a] good wake-up call to campus.”

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