Cipher Issue 93, November 2009, Editor's Letter

Dear Readers,

Plans for the gala celebration of the 30th anniversary the Security and Privacy Symposium ("Oakland") are underway, and the evening of Monday, May 17, 2010 will be a night to remember. The events committee will be sending invitations to as many of our valued contributors as we can locate from the past 3 decades, but we are looking forward to seeing all our old and young friends from the security community. Watch Cipher pages and the website for news announcements and registration information.

If you are reading this on November 18, then you have only a few hours to submit a technical paper for consideration in the conference technical sessions. The workshop deadline was earlier than usual this year, and three have been accepted. The excellent technical sessions will include "systems" papers which are overviews of technical approaches, and the proceedings and Monday night dinner will have various retrospectives on the security research field.

None of this is meant to detract from the other symposium in the Technical Committees quiver, the Computer Security Foundations Symposium, July 17-19, 2010. Next year the conference will be part of the Federated Logic Conference (FLOC) in Edinburgh. The Program Chairs are Michael Backes of Saarland University, and Andrew C. Myers, Cornell University.

Medical information is an area in need of creative and practical security solutions, but I was surprised a recent article in the New York Times indicating that it was impossible to correlate electronic records with any measurable benefit to patients. There is no improvement in outcome, no cost reduction. Is it reasonable to ask people to accept more privacy risks in exchange for no benefit? What are the actual economics behind privacy?

With more questions than answers,
    Hilarie Orman
    Cipher Editor