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Lawfare | Chas Kissick

Congressional hearings, executive orders, federal indictments: this summer was full of technology policy movement of the sort that my first year at Duke Sanford School of Public Policy prepared me to study, write about, and act on.

Being a Carlucci Fellow gave me the opportunity to piece together a number of projects for my summer internship despite the coronavirus pandemic – and likely enabled me to cover more breadth than I would have had I been tied to one geographical place. I spent half of my time at Lawfare, the national security blog run in cooperation with the Brookings Institution and based out of Washington, D.C. The other half of my time was split across a number of cyber research projects run by Duke University professor David Hoffman at the Triangle Privacy Research Hub. Both jobs put me on the front lines of technology policymaking and analysis.

My job at Lawfare centered around my role on the Trustworthy Hardware and Software Working Group. The group brings together some of the greatest minds of technology policy to research how we can verify the security of imported hardware and software in our supply chain, with the motivating factor being the need to find a better solution than banning technology or restricting its use based solely on its country of origin. We are working to find a universal model that can be applied by any country, continuing the United States’ role as a leader in standards-setting and rule-making in the international order.

Also under the umbrella of the Trustworthy group, I began work on a project to make recommendations on the structure of the future Bureau of Cyber Statistics (BCS). Congress created the Cyberspace Solarium Commission to develop strategies to defend the United States and its advantages in cyberspace. The Commission proposed the creation of a BCS that “collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data on cybersecurity, cyber incidents, and the cyber ecosystem.” Together with Paul Rosenzweig, founder of Red Branch Consulting, senior adviser to The Chertoff Group, and former deputy assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security, I developed a proposal for the basic organization of the BCS. I am continuing work on the BCS and for broader Trustworthy working group goals in the future.

Elsewhere at Lawfare, I contributed to articles about contact tracing, federal indictments and espionage, in addition to helping with day-to-day operations such as curating national security news stories relevant to its readers for Lawfare’s daily newsletter.

Being a Carlucci Fellow during the COVID-19 pandemic also enabled me to work for my technology policy professor on several projects at the Triangle Privacy Research Hub. I researched legal and policy issues around national security takedowns on social media platforms and helped organize a conference on the subject, bringing together dozens of technology and national security law experts.

I used my experience gained working for Lawfare to examine the Middle East’s contact tracing apps and evaluated them for privacy and efficacy as part of a team compiling a global analysis.

Finally, I represented Sanford School of Public Policy in a collaboration with Duke University Office of Information Technology (OIT) and private company The Media Trust to explore and publicize research results regarding the third-party code being served from major websites to users surfing the web from Duke.

I am grateful to the Carlucci family for their generous support, especially in light of the pandemic, and I look forward to building on the work I did this summer in my future endeavors.