[SIGCIS-Members] Computer Security History & the US Government

John Paul Laprise j-laprise at northwestern.edu
Mon Mar 12 00:42:56 PDT 2012

Hi everyone,

I've started a new thread due to a newly declassified document I received in the (snail) mail yesterday. One of my FOIA requests struck paydirt as the Ford Library declassified NSDM (National Security Decision Memorandum) 338 "Further Improvements in Telecommunications Security"<http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/document/0310/nsdm338.pdf> dated 1 September 1976. In this executive document then President Ford orders the now defunct Office of Telecommunications Policy (OTP) with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security Agency (NSA) to take action  and develop further plans for protecting US telecommunications networks.

By extension, this plan resulted in significant policy changes in the US telecommunications market and ongoing cooperation between the NSA and telecommunications companies from the beginning of deregulation.

Best regards,

John Laprise, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Northwestern University Qatar<http://www.qatar.northwestern.edu/>
P.O. Box 34102
Doha, Qatar
+974 4454 5037

From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Subramanian, Ramesh Prof.
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 1:32 AM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] computer security history

Hi all,
It is interesting to know about the CBI's on-going research on the history of computer security. I just wanted to mention a closely related topic which spans security and policy: information privacy. It would be interesting to study the history and evolution of privacy as related to information technologies. A few year ago I wrote a paper on the evolution of privacy in India, but I wanted to know if there is any similar work that's been done in this area.



Ramesh Subramanian, Ph.D.

Gabriel Ferrucci Professor of Information Systems

Quinnipiac University

275 Mount Carmel Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518.

Email: rameshs at quinnipiac.edu<mailto:rameshs at quinnipiac.edu>

Web: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1288.xml?Person=23345&type=5


Visiting Fellow, Information Society Project

Yale Law School

127 Wall Street

New Haven, CT 06511.

Email: ramesh.subramanian at yale.edu<mailto:ramesh.subramanian at yale.edu>

Web: http://www.law.yale.edu/intellectuallife/9841.htm

On 3/11/2012 2:53 PM, Jeffrey Yost wrote:

Very little research has been published to date on the history of computer security.  Given the lack of literature on this important topic (and quality resources to study it), the Charles Babbage Institute proposed and was funded for a three year National Science Foundation-supported study to build infrastructure for computer security history.  We are just getting underway with this project and will be conducting more than 30 in-depth career-spanning oral history interviews with first generation computer security pioneers (these will be transcribed, edited, and freely available--our standard practice with CBI's oral history program).  We will also be actively engaging in archival collection development efforts for computer security documentation (we already have some strong holding such as the Willis Ware Papers and the Donn Parker Papers), and will  publish scholarship from this research project.  An advisory committee of leading computer security pioneers is providing guidance to us on this project.

Historian and Sociologist of Science Donald McKenzie did a few important articles and book chapters--see his book Mechanizing Proof and an  article (co-authored w/ G. Pottinger)  on high assurance work w/in the DoD (primarily work by the Air Force and Air Force contractors that helped lead to TCSEC or the Orange Book) published in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 19 (3) (1997): 41-59.

Also, I did a survey book chapter on the history of computer security standards in de Leeuw and Bergstra's book The History of Information Security a few years ago.  History of cryptography has been far more thoroughly studied and has a significant secondary literature (most of the chapters in the de Leeuw and Bergstra volume are on this topic) and the NSA Cryptologic Museum sponsors a regular conference/symposium on the history of cryptography.

On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Jon Lindsay <jrlindsay at ucsd.edu<mailto:jrlindsay at ucsd.edu>> wrote:
Hello all,
I have the feeling that the history of computer security, from hacking techniques to the evolution of the information security industry to fearmongering over cybersecurity, is a somewhat understudied area. I have seen some work on the development of government policy and threat framing (i.e., by Myriam Dunn Cavelty) but I'm less aware of anything on the evolution of the technical and industrial dark arts. If there is some good work out there, I would love to see it.
Bonus points if you can tell me when the awful phrase "digital pearl harbor" first appeared!

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Jeffrey R. Yost, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Charles Babbage Institute
Faculty, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

222  21st Avenue South
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

612 624 5050 Phone
612 625 8054 Fax

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