Susan Landau

April 17, 2023

Topic: The International Status of Cybersecurity Efforts

Susan Landau is Bridge Professor in Cyber Security and Policy at the Fletcher School and the School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science at Tufts University and the founding director of the Tufts Master of Science program in Cybersecurity and Public Policy.

Landau served as a Senior Staff Privacy Analyst at Google, a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, and a faculty member at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Massachusetts, and Wesleyan University. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and visiting scholar at the Computer Science Department of Harvard University and a Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has been a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1999 and was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2011. Landau has testified before Congress on encryption, surveillance, and cybersecurity issues, including providing testimony in the FBI–Apple encryption dispute between 2015 and 2016.

Landau is an inductee in both the Cybersecurity Hall of Fame and the Information System Security Association Hall of Fame and was awarded the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Social Impact in 2008. In 1989, she introduced the first algorithm for deciding which nested radicals can be denested, which is known as “Landau’s algorithm.” In 1972, her project on odd perfect numbers won a finalist position in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.

Landau’s 2021 book, People Count: Contact-Tracing Apps and Public Health (MIT Press), focuses on efficacy, equity, and privacy. Landau is also the author of Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age (Yale University Press, 2017), Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies, (MIT Press, 2011) which won her the Surveillance Studies Network Book Prize, and Privacy on the Line: the Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, co-authored with Whitfield Diffie (MIT Press, 1998). She is also the co-author of the report Keys Under Doormats: Mandating Insecurity by Requiring Government Access to All Data and Communications, which received the 2015 J. D. Falk Award from the Messaging Malware Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group. The Obama administration gave substantial credit to this report’s analysis when it announced that it would not pursue exceptional access to phone data.

Outside of her technical work, Landau is interested in the issues of women in science, maintaining the ResearcHers email list, a “community dedicated to supporting women new to research in computing,” and an online bibliography of women’s writing in computer science.

Landau has a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Upcoming Speakers

  • February 13, 2023
    Derek Mitchell
    Topic: Democracy and International Security
  • March 13, 2023
    Jon Wolfsthal
    Topic: ​Is a New Era of Nuclear Danger Upon Us?
  • April 17, 2023
    Susan Landau
    Topic: The International Status of Cybersecurity Efforts
  • May 8, 2023
    Christopher Costa
    Topic: Reflections on Counterterrorism and the Future Terrorism Threat
  • July 10, 2023
    Thomas Ricks
    Topic: First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country

Past Speakers