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Going on the Cyber Offensive:The Legal and Technology Frontiers and Practical Risks of Active Defense and Cyber Operations for the Public and Private Sectors

December 5, 2013 • Washington, DC

The Science & Technology Law (SciTech) Section’s Privacy and Computer Crime Committee and Homeland Security Committee and the Public Contract Law (PCL) Section’s Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection Committee are co-sponsoring a joint program focusing on emerging legal, technological, and tactical issues involved in active defense and cyber operations.

It has been known by many names:  active defense, offensive operations, hack-back, and more.  Built upon the maxim that the best defense is a good offense, active defense and offensive operations have triggered extensive interest in the law enforcement, intelligence, military, and private sectors and spurred continuing debate about the legal boundaries, technological options, and ethical implications.  Hot issues for this panel’s discussion include, among many:

  • Do current laws (including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) draw any bright lines and offer any safe harbors for public/private sector use of active defense?
  • What are the emerging technologies and escalating threats driving the interest in active defense?
  • How do attribution and authentication for active defense fit within the broader framework of privacy and surveillance?
  • Only one thing is certain – you need a “really great lawyer,” as Professor Clark notes.  This panel of cyber experts will bring both public and private sector experience and expertise to this discussion of the emerging issues and latest developments in active defense.


  • Jody R. Westby (President & CEO, Global Cyber Risk, LLC; Chair, SciTech Privacy & Computer Crime Committee)
  • Steven Chabinsky (Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, CrowdStrike)
  • Shane M. McGee (General Counsel & Vice President of Legal Affairs, Mandiant Corp.)
  • Evan D. Wolff (Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP; Co-Chair, ABA Homeland Security Law Institute; Senior adviser, ABA Committee on Law and National Security)


  • Hilary L. Hageman (VP & Deputy General Counsel, CACI International Inc.)
Crowell & Moring Participant(s):
Evan D. Wolff
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2615