Public Policy

Connecting the tech industry with Washington, D.C.

Addressing Policy Concerns

By connecting computer scientists with social scientists, lawyers and philosophers, we address ethical and moral issues caused by technology. With strong ties to Silicon Valley and D.C., we advise policymakers on security, governance and workers' rights.

Project Spotlight

Our research brings new ideas to democracy, governance, elections, and information warfare

Cyber Enabled Information and Influence Warfare

Hostile cyber operations are characterized as acts of war in academic and policy debates, which in turn has led researchers to apply theories of war to understand actor behavior in this domain. Yet recent events show that many hostile cyber operations fall short of the threshold of war; they are more appropriately in the realm of intelligence operations and covert action. This project examines the psychological, organizational, legal, and international security dimensions of cyber-enabled influence/information warfare and manipulation (IIWAM) operations through this new framing of the problem. The project explores how individuals receive information in a saturated and increasingly manipulated information environment; what geopolitical forces drive state and non-state actors to wage cyber-enabled IIWAM operations; how U.S. national security agencies are structured to deal with information operations; why U.S. democracy is particularly vulnerable; and potential counters to cyber-enabled IIWAM. Amy Zegart, Herb Lin, Tom Fingar, Nate Persily

Campaign of the Future

Technological advances in voting, communication, and fundraising are changing American campaigns and elections in fundamental ways. Developments in microtargeting, web-based campaign advertisements, and even voting, itself, promise to empower new actors in campaigns and reshape the landscape for political communication. American democracy's move on-line will have profound implications for the future of traditional intermediary institutions, especially political parties, which have served as the primary avenues for individual participation and representation. The project on the Campaign of the Future seeks to bring together the relevant actors in the campaign system to analyze these trends in political communication, mobilization, and voting, and to assess their impact on American democracy. The project will involve conferences of academics and other experts, an edited volume, and a sole-authored book. Nate Persily, Bruce Cain

Events Spotlight

From bootcamps to Bitcoin, the Cyber Initiative brings policy-makers to campus

The Changing Workforce: Implications of Cyber Technologies

The Cyber Initiative partnered with CASBS to host a workshop on how cyber technologies are changing the future of work. Currently, automation is replacing jobs that are described as "dull, dangerous, or dirty." Yet, professional skills and interpersonal skills can also be automated. How does this change the meaning of work? What makes work meaningful? How can we ensure that people have access to the psychological benefits of work without a traditional employment system? Participants from organizations as varied as NASA, McKinsey, Y Combinator, Stanford, and the Brookings Institution came together to share ideas, insights, and hope for the future of work.

NAIC - Stanford Cyber Insurance Forum

Together with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, we held a one-day conference on cyber insurance, for insurers, lawyers, commissioners, policy-makers, and researchers to discuss the current state of cyber insurance coverage and what threats might not be covered by existing policies.