[talks] FW: AT&T Shannon Labs Distinguished Speaker Series

Melissa Lawson mml at CS.Princeton.EDU
Tue Oct 7 13:38:00 EDT 2008

If this is a series you think you will be interested in, please bookmark the website.

Subject: AT&T Shannon Labs Distinguished Speaker Series

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that AT&T Shannon Labs is hosting an ongoing Distinguished
Speaker Series at our Florham Park, NJ facility. This series will feature talks from
senior researchers, technology superstars, and policymakers from diverse backgrounds in
computer science, telecommunications, science, and technology. We would like to invite
members from the local research community to join us and hear from these experts about
their views on the future of computing, communications and science, and its impact on our
world. The talks will be made available through our research website at

The first talk in the series is being held on Oct 15, from 3:30pm-4:30pm. The details
follow. There is limited space available for visitors on a first come first serve basis.
If you would like to come, please send us an email at dssorg at research.att.com by Oct. 12
so we can arrange to have visitor passes available.


Speaker: Brian Snow
Title: We Need Assurance
Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm. Oct 15, 2008.
Location: C050 (auditorium)

When will we be secure? Nobody knows for sure - but it cannot happen before commercial
security products and services possess not only enough functionality to satisfy customers'
stated needs, but also sufficient assurance of quality, reliability, safety, and
appropriateness for use.
Such assurances are lacking in most of today's commercial security products and services.
I discuss paths to better assurance in Operating Systems, Applications, and Hardware
through better development environments, requirements definition, systems engineering,
quality certification, and legal/regulatory constraints. I also give some examples.

Mathematician/computer scientist, Brian taught mathematics and helped found the computer
science department at Ohio University in the  late 1960's. He joined the National Security
Agency in 1971 where he became a cryptologic designer and security systems engineer.

Brian spent his first 20 years at NSA doing and directing research that developed
cryptographic components and secure systems. Many cryptographic systems serving the U.S.
government and military use his algorithms; they provide capabilities not previously
available and span a range from nuclear command and control to tactical radios for the
battlefield. Computer Security and Network Security were major aspects for these systems.
He created and managed NSA's Secure Systems Design division in the 1980s. He has many
patents, awards, and honors attesting to his creativity.

His later years at NSA were the model for what it means to be a senior Technical Director
at NSA (similar to a Chief Scientist or Senior Technical Fellow in industry); he served in
that capacity in three major mission components -

             The Research Directorate (1994-1995),
             The Information Assurance Directorate (1996-2002), and
             The Directorate for Education and Training --NSA's Corporate University

He was the first Technical Director appointed at the "Key Component"
level at NSA, and the only "techie" at NSA to serve in such a role across three different

In all of his positions, he insisted that the actions NSA took to provide intelligence for
our national and military leaders should not put U.S. persons or their rights at risk. He
was a leading voice for always assessing the unintended consequences of both success and
failure prior to taking action.

Brian retired in 2006 and is now an Independent Security Consultant and Ethics Advisor.


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