National Security and Technology Congressional Briefing Series

The Hoover Institution in Washington proudly presents the National Security and Technology Congressional Speaker Series. This regular event series will feature Hoover Institution fellows to discuss the impacts of technology on U.S. national security.

Thursday, September 5
Digital Deception: Deepfakes, Manipulated Media, and the Uncertain Future of Truth

Featuring John Villasenor
House Visitor Center, Room 201AB

The Washington, D.C. office of Stanford University's Hoover Institution is pleased to invite you to attend the next National Security & Technology Briefing, featuring Hoover Institution Senior Fellow John Villasenor. Artificial intelligence has many beneficial uses. But it also can be used as a tool of deception, enabling the creation of highly realistic "deepfake" videos showing people saying or doing things that they never said or did. Today, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can make a deepfake and publish it to a global audience. As a result, it is inevitable that deepfakes and other forms of manipulated media will be used-including by nation states-to attempt to influence American elections.

This presentation will explain what deepfakes are, why the technology to create them has become so much more advanced and widely available in recent years, and how they might be used to influence American public opinion. The presentation will also explore existing technological and legal frameworks for addressing deepfakes, which are more comprehensive than is generally recognized. And, it will consider the challenges of drafting new, deepfake-specific legislation, particularly in light of the risk of overly broad laws that could inadvertently criminalize parody and other forms of constitutionally protected expression.

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Thursday, August 1st
Humor, Ethics, and Dignity: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Featuring Sean Kanuck

Sean Kanuck is an international attorney and professional intelligence analyst who advises governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs on the future of information technology.  Sean is currently the Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and an adjunct faculty member of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs where he teaches a graduate seminar on the security implications of artificial intelligence.  He has also held several other appointments including: Director for Cyber, Space & Future Conflict at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London, UK); Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); and Distinguished Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi, India). 

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Amy ZegartMonday, June 10th
The Value of Cheap Flights: Drones and the Future of Coercion
Featuring Amy Zegart
Senate Visitor Center - Room 203

Dr. Amy Zegart is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she directs the Robert and Marion Oster National Security Affairs Fellows program. She is also a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies (FSI), professor of political science (by courtesy) at Stanford University, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic. From 2013 to 2018, she served as co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and founder and co-director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Program. She previously served as the chief academic officer of the Hoover Institution.

Her areas of expertise include cybersecurity, US intelligence and foreign policy, drone warfare, and political risk. An award-winning author, she has written four books. These include Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations (2019) coeditor with Herb Lin; Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018) with Condoleezza Rice; Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and Origins of 9/11 (2007), which won the National Academy of Public Administration's Brownlow Book Award; Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (1999); and Eyes on Spies: Congress and the US Intelligence Community (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).

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Wednesday, March 20th
CyberWar Inc.: The Growing Role of Private Companies in Cyber Warfare
Featuring Irving Lachow
Senate Visitor Center - Room 209-08

Irving Lachow is a Hoover Visiting Fellow, and has spent over 20 years working at the intersection of technology and policy issues, with the last 15 years being primarily focused on cybersecurity. He has worked on and led a number of projects across a range of cyber policy and technology areas for the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and the Department of State. 

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Wednesday, January 30th
Bytes, Bombs and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations
Featuring Amy Zegart and Herb Lin
Senate Visitor Center (SVC) 210/212

Bytes, Bombs, and Spies, co-edited by Hoover fellows Amy Zegart and Herb Linis the first book to take a strategic examination of offensive cyber operations and features contributions from over twenty leading policymakers and academics. At this briefing, New York Times senior writer David Sanger with moderate a conversation between Zegart and Lin, followed by an audience Q&A.

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Friday, November 30th
Nation-State Threats, Collective Defense, and Strategic Deterrence in Cyberspce: (How) Can We Get Better Fast?

Featuring Jamil Jaffer
Senate Dirksen 562

Jamil Jaffer is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and is the founder of the National Security Institute at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. Jaffer also serves as Vice President for Strategy & Business Development at IronNet Cybersecurity. Previously, Jaffer has served in multiple senior staff positions on the Hill, in the White House, and in the Justice Department. 

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Thursday, November 15th
The Battle for the Soul of the Internet
Featuring Alex Stamos
Senate Dirksen G-50

Alex Stamos is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Prior to joining Stanford, Stamos served as the chief security officer of Facebook, where he was charged with understanding and mitigating information security risks to the company.

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Tuesday, October 25th
Deepfakes: Overview and Options for Policy Makers
Featuring Andrew James Grotto
House Visitors Center (HVC) 201

Andrew J. Grotto is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the William J. Perry International Security Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, both at Stanford University. Before coming to Stanford, Grotto was the Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the White House in both the Obama and Trump Administrations.

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Wednesday, September 26th
Innovation, Defense and Working with Silicon Valley
Featuring Raj Shah
Senate Russell 253

Raj Shah is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. From May 2016 until February of this year, Shah served as the managing partner of the Defense Department's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), which helps bring cutting edge technology from the private sector to the Pentagon. In addition to this and his success in cybersecurity in the private sector, Shah was also a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and served as an F-16 pilot in the US Air National Guard. 

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Monday, June 25th
Beyond Disruption: Technology's Challenge to Governance
Featuring Admiral James Ellis, Jr, T.X. Hammes, Jim Hoagland, and Lucy Shapiro 
Senate Russell 253

Decision makers are watching as a surge of new technologies begin to take hold of nearly every industry. Some techniques have enabled engineers to create systems that will make us more productive. However, using big data and artificial intelligence to automate complex tasks also threatens to disrupt routine professions and cognitive work. Beyond Disruption's contributors explore the impact of this wave of technological advancement on society and national security.

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Monday, June 18th
A Strategic Look at the Commander's Vision from U.S. Cybercommand
Featuring Herb Lin
House Cannon 121

Herb Lin is a senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Hank J. Holland Fellow in cyber policy and security at the Hoover Institution. He is also chief scientist emeritus for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, at the National Research Council of the National Academies. Before the NRC, he was a professional staff member and staff scientist for the House Armed Services Committee.

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Wednesday, May 9th
Blockchain 101: Cryptocurrencies, Smart Contracts and Beyond
Featuring John Villasenor
Senate Dirksen 562

John Villasenor is on the faculty at UCLA, where he is a professor of electrical engineering, public policy, and management, and a visiting professor of law. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Villasenor leads a Department of Homeland Security-funded research project at Stanford directed to improving cybersecurity for U.S. critical infrastructure.

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Monday, April 30th
The Promise and Peril of Active Cyber Defense
Featuring Irving Lachow
House Cannon 121

Irving Lachow is a Hoover Visiting Fellow, and has spent over 20 years working at the intersection of technology and policy issues, with the last 15 years being primarily focused on cybersecurity. He has worked on and led a number of projects across a range of cyber policy and technology areas for the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and the Department of State. 

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Tuesday, March 27th
U.S. Policy Toolkit for Kaspersky Labs
Featuring Andy Grotto
Senate Dirksen 342

Andrew J. Grotto is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the William J. Perry International Security Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, both at Stanford University. Before coming to Stanford, Grotto was the Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the White House in both the Obama and Trump Administrations.

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For more information on this series, please contact the Washington External Affairs team:

rwald [at] stanford.edu (Russell Wald) - Senior Manager of External Affairs