For individuals and organizations involved in political advocacy, cybersecurity threats are an increasingly common reality of operating in the digital world. Civil society has always been under attack from ideological, political, and governmental opponents who seek to silence dissenting opinions, but the widespread adoption of connected technologies by the individuals and organizations that make up civil society creates a new class of vulnerabilities.
Citizen Clinic at the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity provides students with real-world experience assisting politically vulnerable organizations and persons around the world to develop and implement sound cybersecurity practices. Clinic students will participate in both a classroom and clinic component. In the classroom, students will study the basic theories and practices of digital security, the intricacies of protecting largely under-resourced organizations, and the tools needed to manage risk in complex political, sociological, legal, and ethical contexts. In the clinic component, students will work in teams supervised by the Clinic staff to provide direct cybersecurity assistance to civil society organizations. Students’ clinic responsibilities will include learning about an organization’s mission and context, assessing its vulnerabilities, and ultimately recommending and implementing mitigations to the identified security risks. The emphasis will be on pragmatic, workable solutions that take into account the unique operational needs of each partner organization. Weekly lectures will provide students with the background information and tools they will need to engage with partners. Coursework will focus on partner-facing, hands-on projects. Students will be expected to work an average of 10 hours per week, although the distribution of this workload may fluctuate based upon the availability and needs of the partner.
In the first half of the semester, class meetings will be a mix of lectures & discussions with project-oriented workshops. In the second half of the semester, these class times will be reserved for work with the teaching team and check-ins tailored to the specific needs of your partner organization.
Most assignments (some exceptions) are listed with a due date on the Sunday at 11:59 PM (Pacific). Readings are to be completed by the end of the week in preparation for the next week’s lectures.
Note: This schedule is tentative and may be adjusted - assignment dates may change, additional readings may be assigned, speakers/lectures may be shuffled, etc. The teaching team will announce when changes are made.
5/2 Lecture Week 1A:
● Introduction to Public Interest Cybersecurity
o Content and methods of the course
o What is Public Interest Cybersecurity?
Assignments Due (by Tuesday 11:59PM Pacific):