August 2, 2017
On August 2, 2017, the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a panel discussion on the week-long round of cybersecurity conferences known as “Hacker Summer Camp” – DEF CON, Black Hat, and BSides Las Vegas. Ariel Robinson, Analyst and Reporter for ITSP Magazine and Host of The Tech Effect podcast, moderated a conversation with Nick Leiserson, Legislative Director for the Office of U.S. Representative Jim Langevin; Cris Thomas (also known as Space Rogue), Global Strategy Lead for IBM X-Force Red; Jessica Wilkerson, Professional Staff Member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Beau Woods, Deputy Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security on the three cybersecurity conferences that welcomed top hackers, academics, journalists, professionals, and government representatives. 

During Hacker Summer Camp, Twitter feeds across the District of Columbia were flooded with research findings. The panel bridged the gap between Las Vegas and Washington DC and provided a layer of translation for policymakers to understand the significance, urgency, and response options to the flood of technical information coming from DEF CON, Black Hat, and BSides Las Vegas. Not only did the speakers share overarching cybersecurity research and activities presented at the conferences, but they also addressed the importance of resolving the sizeable gap between hackers' technical solutions and policymakers' ability to directly translate them into broader outcomes. The discussion culminated with audience inquiries on the direction of cybersecurity policy and legislation and the recent security concerns identified in voting machines, medical devices, and internet-connected devices, which will undoubtedly have powerful implications for national and international cybersecurity policy over the next year.