To: Rosemary McGuinness Cc:, Peter G Neumann , Vint Cerf Subject: 2012-2013 report of the ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy Rosemary, Please distribute this report further to whomever, as appropriate. It will also appear on my website, with the URL noted in the text under item 10. Thanks once more for all your past help. Cheers! Peter Vint, Thanks for your letter a year ago. We have now added Kevin Fu to the committee, and hope to add some further younger/new blood in the coming ACM year as well. For the time being, the wisdom and experience provided by the year-by-year aging of this committee is always very helpful. Cheers! Peter =======================%CUT HERE%=========================
                          Annual Report of the
           ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy (CCPP)
              For the Period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013
                Submitted by Peter G. Neumann, Chairman 

Date: June 30, 2013
To: Rosemary McGuinness
    ACM, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701 New York, NY 10121-0701


The ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy (CCPP) seeks to

 * aid the ACM with respect to a variety of internationally relevant
   issues pertaining to computers and public policy, and
 * help make the ACM even better recognized worldwide.

Its most visible project is the ACM Forum on Risks to the Public in
Computers and Related Systems, established in August 1986 in response to
Adele Goldberg's ACM President's message in the February 1985 issue of
the Communications of the ACM (CACM).  It has also served as a hands-on
review board for the Inside Risks articles in the CACM, since July 1990.


The Chairman of the ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy (CCPP)
is Peter G. Neumann.  During the reporting year, the committee consisted
of Steve Bellovin, Peter Denning, Virgil Gligor, Jim Horning (until his
passing), Kevin Hu (new member), Nancy Leveson, David Parnas, Jerry
Saltzer, and Lauren Weinstein.  This body exists as an expert advisory
group rather than a membership organization, and has considerable impact
worldwide even though it maintains a relatively low profile.  I am
extraordinarily grateful to them for their continued long-standing
participation and their incisive reviewing of CACM Inside Risks columns
and helping resolve occasional potentially sticky issues relating to the
ACM Risks Forum.  The intellectual memory span and diversity of
interests that they represent and are contributing is extraordinary, and
have greatly improved the quality of the Inside Risks content and kept
the ACM Risks Forum on track.  I continue to value their incisive
contributions on many issues that require insight and wisdom.  Although
their oversight efforts regarding Inside Risks are often not visible to
readers, some of the CACM columns have led to intense interactions with
the authors that occasionally escalated to coauthorship.

CCPP internal interactions generally involve e-mail, with occasional
telephone calls and in-person discussions.  Many constructive interchanges
have occurred during the year, as in the past.

There is some overlap with other ACM committees.  For example, Horning
was for many years active in USACM, and Neumann still is.  Although
there is some commonality of problem areas, the charters of CCPP and
USACM are quite different.  USACM has a specifically U.S.-centric focus,
whereas CCPP tends to consider problems more generally with a global
perspective.  For example, Neumann remains active in risks related to
election systems, which is a common interest of USACM and CCPP --
respectively with primary domestic and more international scope.

CCPP Efforts

CCPP has several manifestations, including

  * RISKS online: The ACM Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers as a
    newsgroup (a digest by e-mail, and distributed as comp.risks via
    USENET).  See Item 1 below.
  * RISKS highlights in ACM Software Engineering Notes (SEN): Edited
    and distilled from the online ACM Risks Forum.  See Item 2 below.
  * The CACM Inside Risks tri-yearly columns.  See Item 3 below.
  * RISKS: The Book, Computer-Related Risks.  See Item 4 below.

Neumann has been highly visible in those efforts, but other CCPP members
have also been active participants.  Additionally, some other efforts
have been undertaken, and CCPP members have continued to be active in
ACM advisory roles and in computer policy issues, either directly
related to CCPP or otherwise.

Neumann contributes many hours each week pro bono, moderating RISKS,
responding to queries, engaging in individual dialogues with readers,
and distilling the RISKS highlights for SIGSOFT's Software Engineering
Notes (SEN).  From the feedback we receive, RISKS appears to be one of
the most widely read and most useful of the moderated on-line digests
relating to computer technology.  It serves a real educational purpose.
Despite its high profile and the occasionally controversial nature of
some of the material, RISKS has been a relatively noninflammatory
operation; this reflects the fact that Neumann takes his moderator's
role quite seriously.  (The advisory members of CCPP are invoked as
informal reviewers whenever a potentially controversial contribution
must be considered.  In addition, each member of the committee has
typically played an advisory role during the year on various sensitive

CCPP represents an extraordinary collection of creative thinking ability
and resources for ACM, and its members are invoked as appropriate.


Following is a list of CCPP-relevant activities.  Almost all were done
essentially pro-bono, and in my case with the considerable blessing and
computer support of SRI International's Computer Science Lab -- for
which I am hugely grateful.


1.  The on-line ACM Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and
    Related Systems.  In addition to various unofficial mirrored sites
    on the Internet, including a new feed at for comp.risks on
    USENET as of May, 2011, the official archives are available by
    anonymous ftp in the U.S. at , and in a
    nicely formatted searchable site in the U.K., courtesy of Lindsay
    which is also accessible as

    The ACM Risks Forum activity involves many tens or even hundreds of
    thousands of people around the world, some of whom are contributing
    to the CCPP effort through their RISKS submissions.  There are
    always many new first-time contributors each year.

    The ACM Risks Forum continues as an institution.  Since its first
    issue on August 1, 1985, its readership continues to expand, with a
    steady flow of new direct subscribers, via USENET newsgroups as
    comp.risks, and through redistribution centers and mirrored websites
    throughout the Internet.  It reaches essentially every country that
    does not censor the Internet.

    During the 2012-2013 reporting year, 44 issues of the Digest
    appeared (RISKS-26.90 to 26.98, and RISKS-27.01 to 27.35).  The
    number of submissions for consideration continues to be
    considerable, and the primarily limitation on the frequency of
    issues is the scarcity of my time (and having to delete hundreds of
    spam messages daily that are not caught by our filters).

2.  Highlights from the on-line RISKS Forum continue to appear six times
    each year in the ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes.  Neumann
    was SEN's founding editor in 1976.  After Will Tracz took over as
    Editor in 1995, Neumann has continued to contribute a RISKS section
    to essentially every regular issue.  This is continuing under the
    new editor, Mike Wing, after Will Tracz became SIGSOFT Chairman.
    (SEN's circulation is one of the larger among SIGs.)

3. P.G. Neumann (ed).  Inside Risks began in July 1990 as a monthly
   one-page item, originally inside the back cover of the CACM for 18
   years.  It is now slated for three longer articles each year, as of
   2009.  We continue to seek diversity among the authors.  The
   following articles appeared during the reporting year, as Inside
   Risks Viewpoints:

Oct 12.228  The Foresight Saga, Redux: Short-term Thinking Is the
  Enemy of the Long-term Future, PGN
Feb 13.229  More Sight on Foresight:
  Reflecting on Elections, Natural Disasters, and the Future, PGN
Jun 13.230  Learning from the Past to Face the Risks of Today,
  Nancy Leveson

Inside Risks articles are available online at

4.  Neumann's RISKS BOOK ("Computer-Related Risks", ACM Press and
    Addison-Wesley, 1995), having transcended its fifth printing, is now
    being printed "on demand", and is now available online as well.  It
    is also available in a Japanese translation.  More recent source
    material is online in the ACM Risks Forum
    and culled and excerpted in a topically relevant form bimonthly in
    SEN (item 2).  AWL's editor, Peter Gordon, has suggested a
    20th Anniversary second edition along the lines of what Fred Brooks
    did for The Mythical Man-Month.

5.  PGN's Illustrative Risks document provides a topical index for
    SEN and RISKS.  It used to be updated periodically, but is fairly
    complete up to a point.  It is available online as
    The task of maintaining the currency of this resource has become more
    daunting over time, and this index is not up to date -- except for
    recent items on election integrity.  However, the search engine at tends to compensate for that.

6.  Numerous additional activities of PGN are enumerated in Appendix I

7.  Lauren Weinstein continues his operation of the PRIVACY Forum and
    the Network Neutrality Squad under the partial aegis of CCPP.

    The Privacy Forum and related services from People For Internet
    Responsibility (PFIR, which he co-founded with PGN), and his other
    outreach efforts continue to provide discussions, information, and
    other services that include the many areas of privacy -- which
    intersect virtually every aspect of our lives.  The PRIVACY Forum,
    Network Neutrality Squad, and his other archives are continually
    referenced around the world, and have been listed as major network
    resources in the links of many private, commercial, and governmental
    entities globally.
    As is the case with PGN, Lauren receives numerous e-mail and telephone
    contacts from all manner of media points, and continues to participate
    in newspaper and magazine articles, local and network radio and
    television interviews, and similar discussions on privacy and related
    technology topics.  He has also been a commentator for National Public
    Radio's ``Morning Edition'' and for "Wired News" regarding technology
    and society.

8.  Other CCPP members have also interacted with various ACM people on
    ACM and CCPP-related issues, reviewed drafts, refereed papers, etc.
    See their websites, listed in Appendix II.

9.  Other CCPP members wrote papers and gave talks that bear on
    computers and public policy.

10. This CCPP report is accessible from the pages, via a link  
    to my CCPP Web page:


11. Neumann hopes to continue moderating the on-line RISKS Forum and
    contributing RISKS sections to ACM SIGSOFT's Software Engineering

12. Neumann will continue to coordinate/edit/write the CACM Inside Risks
    columns, seeking articles on topical RISKS-related subjects written by
    members of CCPP and other contributors.  Please contact me if you think
    you might have an appropriate RISKS-relevant Viewpoints article.

13. CCPP members will continue to interact with USACM as appropriate.
    We have been encouraging the submission of more Inside Risks columns
    from the USACM community, without much success.  Perhaps in the
    future that will change.   
The 2012-2013 CCPP expenditures were as usual minimal, and the budget was
adequate, with no expenses for computing resources and communications.  (SRI
continues to provide free disk space for the RISKS FTP archives on; the CSL.SRI.COM resources are partly subsidized by SRI.  In
addition, Lindsay Marshall at Newcastle University provides the extremely
useful searchable archives on a pro bono basis, and with the
blessing of the university.  I use my cell phone and free home phone
extensively.)  We appreciate ACM's past support, and have been happy to stay
within budget each year.


The ACM RISKS Forum, the monthly CACM Inside Risks columns, Illustrative
Risks, and the related efforts have continued to be successful in
achieving their intended goals, as well as being highly popular.

We note that several related efforts are already ongoing under the aegis
of the External Activities Board.  For example, the scientific freedom
and human rights, legal, education, and USACM committees involve issues
relevant to CCPP that frequently are discussed in the ACM Risks Forum
from the RISKS perspective.  We are happy to interact with others in
those related areas, without CCPP having to be directly in the loop, and
to offer the Inside Risks space to those efforts that have a reasonable
RISKS-relevant content.  Overall, CCPP seems to be usefully situated in
a well-defined niche of its own.

The ACM RISKS Forum and the PRIVACY Forum/NNSquad/PFIR items span a
large gamut of CCPP issues, and reach out to many thousands of people,
throughout the world, quite a few of whom are actively contributing
participants.  RISKS is heavily involved in human safety, privacy,
ethics, legal responsibility, election integrity, and so on, and there
is no shortage of public-policy related issues!  In addition, the Inside
Risks articles continue to serve as a popular CACM feature, and distill
a diverse collection of timely topics on computer-related risks in a
broadly accessible and carefully vetted and edited form.

Continued support of existing and possibly new CCPP activities is
appropriate, and will be appreciated at essentially the same level.  We
are delighted to be a low-budget high-yield part of the visible ACM


As noted above, CCPP (as opposed to USACM, for example) is explicitly
international in its outlook and content.  In general, we always seek to
broaden our scope and deepen the incisiveness of our content in Inside
Risks columns and RISKS issues.  Also, the risks relating to computers
that we address span a wide range of requirements and application areas.

Also as noted above, CCPP is somewhat unusual within ACM in that it tends
to act as an editorial and advisory board rather than a membership
organization.  We welcome suggestions for additional CCPP members who
might also be willing to be active in writing and reviewing proposed
Inside Risks columns.  We note that the makeup of CCPP has always been
intentionally diverse in the areas of expertise that it encompasses.  At
the moment, David Parnas is the only non-US member, and Nancy Leveson is
the only woman.  New member Kevin Fu is the youngest member.  Although we
currently represent significant topical longevity, we would be delighted
to add more younger folks who have the appropriate experiential breadth
and depth.  However, the small size of the group with deep commitments to
the purposes noted above is beneficial to the end results, so we are not
seeking a major expansion.

The CCPP members represent a valuable cross-section of ACM interests
relating to public-policy issues.  All of their efforts in helping CCPP
and the ACM are greatly appreciated, even though many of those efforts
are not noted here explicitly.

We would be delighted to receive further suggestions for new directions
relating to computers and public policy, internationally relevant
initiatives that we might address beyond the ACM Risks Forum and the CACM
Inside Risks columns, and ideas for making our efforts even more visibly
attributable to ACM without compromising the special role of CCPP.

Respectfully submitted, 

Peter G. Neumann, Principal Scientist, Computer Science Laboratory, 
SRI International EL-243, Menlo Park CA 94025-3493 
E-mail address: Neumann@CSL.SRI.COM or; 
Web address:
Phone: 1-650-859-2375 FAX 1-650-859-2844


APPENDIX I: CCPP-Relevant Activities of Peter G. Neumann

RELEVANT PGN EVENTS, July 2012 -- June 2013


August 6-10, Attended EVT/WOTE and USENIX Security, Bellevue WA.

September 12, Attended the GAO Executive Committee on Information
Management and Technology annual meeting.

October 17, Attended the awards banquet for induction into the newly
created National Cybersecurity Hall of Fame, coordinated as part of the
Cyber Maryland Security Conference in Baltimore.  The other inductees for
this first round of awards were Leonard Adleman, Dorothy Denning,
Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Carl Landwehr, Lynn McNulty, Ralph
Merkle, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Roger Schell.  The motto of the
founding organization for the Hall of Fame is Respect the Past, Protect
the Future. which my past work and our two current DARPA Clean-slate
Resilient and Adaptive Secure Hosts (CRASH) and Mission-oriented Resilient
Clouds (MRC) joint projects (involving SRI and the University of
Cambridge) fit rather nicely (along with some other projects in the DARPA
CRASH and MRC programs).  Comment: these two joint projects are both
clean-slate efforts seriously attempting to provide considerably greater
trustworthiness in hardware-software systems, networks, and clouds.

October 29-31, attended the DARPA MRC PI meeting in San Diego.
October 30, profiled in an article by John Markoff in The
New York Times.
November 13--15, attended the DARPA CRASH PI meeting in San Diego.
December 3--4, Attended the Layered Assurance Workshop in Orlando,
served on the program committee, and was panel chair, organizing two
panels: (1) CRASH/MRC, with Howie Shrobe (DARPA). PGN. Nirav Dave, Greg
Sullivan (BAE), and Zhong Shao; (2) HACMS, with Kathleen Fisher (DARPA),
John Rushby, and Darren Cofer (Rockwell-Collins).

December 5--7, Attended ACSAC 2012 in Orlando; organizer and
moderator of a panel session, The Future of Trustworthy Applications,
with Nirav Dave, Rance DeLong, Roger Schell, and Olin Sibert.

December 27, Appeared live on NPR: The Daily Circuit, Minnesota Public
Radio, discussing the futility of passwords, the state of computer
security, and the potentials of clean-slate architecture, with
Matt Honan (WiReD), produced by Marc Sanchez., click on `LISTEN'.

February 20-21, Spoke on network futures for a TTI/Vanguard meeting in
Santa Monica.

March 19, Gave a talk for Stanford University's CISAC, 
Some Future Directions in System and Network Trustworthiness.

March 26-27, Gave the 2013 Elliott Organick Memorial Lectures at the
University of Utah Salt Lake, with two talks on the future of
trustworthiness in systems and networks.

April 24-26, Attended the Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop, and gave a
talk, Rethinking High-Assurance Security from the Ground Up.  (Although
I had some expectations of possibly being turned into hamburger for some
too-far-out ideas, there were no surprising ground-up beefs from the

May 6-10, Attended the DARPA CRASH and MRC PI meetings in New Jersey.

May 9, Spoke on a keynote panel on Cyber Resilience and IT Risks in New
York City, for The Conference Board Global Risk Conference on Navigating
Risk in the Global Economy.

May 20-22, Attended the 34th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in
San Francisco.  (For the past few years, Neumann has been the only
remaining participant who still attends SSP among the 50 people from the
first one in 1980.)

May 30, Profiled in the ACM Bulletin Archive,
June 3, Was interviewed for 3.5 hours by Jeffrey Yost for his
NSF-sponsored Babbage Institute Computer Security History Project.
That amount of time touched only on the tips of several icebergs. 

Jun 11, Gave a talk on the future of Trustworthy Computers and Networks,
for the Bay Area Technology and Society Committee luncheon meeting in
Mountain View CA.

June 13, Spoke to the California Silicon Valley VPE/CTO Community of
Practice on issues related to risks.

June 15, Received the CRA Distinguished Service Award at the ACM Awards
Banquet in San Francisco.


Current Web and Internet Addresses for CCPP Members

(Peter G. Neumann) and
(Steve Bellovin)
(Peter J. Denning)
(Virgil Gligor)
(Kevin Fu) and (Kevin Fu's group)
(Nancy Leveson)
(David Parnas)
(Jerry Saltzer)
(Lauren Weinstein)