UNL space and cyber law conference is Sept. 9-10 in Washington, D.C.

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A host of national policy experts, including the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NASA's deputy administrator and a renowned security expert and cryptographer, will tackle a range of cyberwarfare and U.S. space strategy issues at the University of Nebraska College of Law's Space and Cyber Policy Law Conference on Sept. 9-10 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The first day will feature experts on cyberwarfare strategies and will include a keynote conversation between security expert Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at BT Managed Security Solutions Group and author of the blog "Schneier on Security;" and Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security and author of "Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren't Stopping Tomorrow's Terrorism" (Hoover Institution Press, 2010).

The U.S. military and private sector are increasingly attempting to understand and develop policies for cyberattacks and cyberespionage, said Marvin Ammori, assistant professor of telecommunications law at UNL. Attacks, which involve penetrating computers and networks to cause damage or disruption, are increasingly common, and they could come from private groups (often called "cybercrime") as well as from nation-states (often called "cyberwarfare").

"There is an emerging consensus that the United States must move toward improving its understanding of the technology, law and ethics of cyber-attack and defense so it can factor cyber-security into all stages of its national security and economic security planning," Ammori said. "Considering the importance of these issues, we are looking forward to having a full day of policy discussion in Washington with so many of the nation's foremost experts."

On Friday, the focus will shift to the United States' newly adopted national space policy. In June, the Obama administration said the United States would focus its priorities on expanded international cooperation in space, boosting commercial companies and increasing Earth-based observations.

Gen. James Cartwright, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will discuss the new policy's implications on U.S. military matters - including the development of so-called "confidence-building measures," or CBMs, in space. CBMs are techniques designed make it less likely that a conflict would break out through a misunderstanding, a mistake or a misreading of the actions of a potential adversary.

"The new U.S. space policy increases the call for international cooperation, not only in civil space but also potentially in areas of military space," said Matthew Schaefer, professor of law and director of UNL's space and telecommunications law program. "It also heightens the importance of commercial actors in achieving US space policy goals.

"There are a number of legal, policy and diplomacy implications that will need examination - which we expect the expert panels to explore."

Deputy NASA Administrator Lori Garver will give an afternoon keynote address. Garver, who has been in her position since May 2009, was the lead civil space policy adviser for President Obama's 2008 campaign. She also was at NASA from 1996 to 2001, where she focused on space policy.

Other conference speakers include leading experts from U.S. Cyber Command and the National Defense University, from think tanks including the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations, and from industry groups including Verizon and Tech America, among others.

UNL is the first and only law school in the nation to offer a master of laws degree specializing in space and telecommunications law. It is the only master's of law degree in space and telecommunications law in the world taught in English. This is the college's third annual conference in the nation's capital.

For a conference schedule and a full listing of conference participants, go to http://spaceandtelecomlaw.unl.edu/conferences/dcregistration. To receive Twitter updates from the conference, those interested can follow http://www.twitter.com/spacetelecomlaw .

- Steve Smith, University Communications

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/jgy