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COMPGA19 - Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Security and Privacy

This database contains 2016-17 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

CodeCOMPGA19
YearMSc
PrerequisitesCOMPGA01 Computer Security 1
Term2
Taught ByTristan Caulfield and David Pym
Aims

Upon completion of the course the students are expected to be:

  • Aware of the conceptual foundations of security policy and technology and their role in delivering robust, reliable systems
  • Specialists in understanding the political context within which security policy and its implementation is situated
  • Specialists in understanding the design and implementation of security policy from the perspective of economics, including ideas and tools from areas such as utility theory, game theory, and portfolio theory.
Learning OutcomesKey knowledge and understanding:
  • Concepts and philosophy of security & privacy
    • Declarative and operational concepts
    • The relationship between security & privacy
    • Understanding relationships between people, policy, and systems
  • Politics of security & privacy
    • The perspectives of individuals, companies, and governments
    • International relations, strategy, cyber-conflict
    • Understanding tensions in policy and legislation
  • Economics of security & privacy
    • Utility, incentives, public goods, externalities and internalities, and trade-offs
    • Games in security & privacy
    • Using models to understand policy, technology, and decision-making.

 

Key skills:

  • Ability to develop conceptual analyses of systems and policies in socio-economic contexts
  • Ability to assess the consequences and value of models of security & privacy
  • Ability to organize and communicate complex ideas and arguments in precise, accessible written form.   

Content

The course covers in depth major issues in computer, information, and general security related to the following perspectives:

 

- Conceptual and philosophical foundations of security policy and its implementation in systems’ contexts

- The political context within which security policies and their implementations are situated, including national and international security issues and the relationships between individuals, companies, and governments

 

- The design and implementation of security policy from the perspective of economics, including ideas and tools from areas such as utility theory, game theory, and portfolio theory.

Method of Instruction

One 2-hour lecture per week to be delivered by the lecturer(s), with occasional guest lecturers (e.g., from industry, government, security agencies) as appropriate.

Weekly tutorial hours, staffed by the lecturer and TAs, will support the material presented in the lectures in respect of the final examination and, specifically, will support the three coursework essays, the completion of which will require significant independent study.   

Specific support with essay-writing will be provided for those students who need it.

Assessment

The module has the following assessments:

  • Coursework (100%):

    • Essay 1 (25%)
    • Essay 2 (35%)
    • Essay 4 (40%)

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain a mark of at least 50% for the module overall.

Resources

Lecture notes provided in Moodle (Page ID = 28991). 

Examples of slides and software used in past years: http://blog.bettercrypto.com/?page_id=1368

 

Reference books: 
Antoine Joux: Algorithmic Cryptanalysis, CRC Press
Menezes, van Oorschot, Vanstone: Handbook of Applied Cryptography, CRC Press. www.cacr.math.uwaterloo.ca/hac