The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) is conducting a three-year NSF funded research project on computer security, which focuses on the years when the field of “computer security” was just emerging, roughly the late 1960s through the early 1990s with the shift to networked computing and the web. We are “building an infrastructure” for future historical research through conducting 30 oral histories with computer-security pioneers, collecting archival documents, creating a knowledge-networking wiki site, and publishing scholarly work in this field.
Charles Babbage Institute
SRI International scientist and noted computer security pioneer Peter Neumann was quoted last year in the New York Time’s article “Killing the Computer to Save It,” that he has “…been tilting at the same windmills for 40 years and…[he]…get[s] the impression that most of the folks who are responsible don’t want to hear about complexity. They are interested in quick and dirty solutions.” Neumann is now heading a major DARPA effort to select the very best computer security ideas from the past to better address today’s challenges. Many computer security pioneers emphasize that most of the potentially useful (and often ignored) solutions to the nation and world’s many computer security challenges have fruitful seeds in the more distant past (and that today’s problems often resulted from yesterday’s choices in structuring computing and networking).
The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) is currently engaged in a three year National Science Foundation- sponsored project “Building an Infrastructure for Computer Security History.” The project consists of conducting oral histories, creating a computer security wiki, and collecting and making available archival resources to document computer security’s past. In conjunction with this project, CBI is hosting a workshop on computer security history on July 11 and 12, 2014 and is seeking paper proposals for the event. Preliminary plans have been laid to publish many of the revised papers from the workshop in a 2015 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing special issue on computer security.
All papers must be historical studies—ranging from the technical, scientific, political, legal, social, and cultural history of computer security (contemporary analyses of current issues will not be considered). Potential topics include, but are not limited to the history of pioneering work funded by the military; Bell-LaPadula, Biba, Clark-Wilson and other computer security models; TCSEC/The Orange Book/Rainbow Series; public key encryption/PKI; computer crime/criminal justice; hacking and hackers; intrusion detection; computer security companies; and the computer security industry. Preference will be given for papers on U.S. topics between the mid-1960s and the advent of the Web in the early 1990s.
To be considered for workshop participation, authors should send a 500-750 word abstract detailing their proposed paper, which includes discussion of the key sources for the study. Authors must also submit a 2-page curriculum vitae. Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as PDF documents no later than Friday September 13, 2013. For accepted proposals, full papers (6000 to 8000 words including footnotes) must be submitted for pre-circulation to the workshop’s participants by June 15, 2014. Travel assistance will be provided to all accepted applicants, as well as lunches and an event dinner on July 11, 2014.