Correspondence from Tom Berson, Chair of the TCSP
November 11, 2001

Dear Member of the TC on Security and Privacy,

This is a season of change. Even here in California the days grow short and the nights grow chill at the approach of winter.

Thereís a verse toward the end of Tennysonís Idylls of the King, a retelling of the Arthurian Romance that reads,

                  The old order changes, yielding place to new;
                  And God fulfils himself in many ways,
                  Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Arthur is dead; things are not necessarily better; life must go on.

Certainly the old order was changed by the tragic events of 11 September and their aftermath. We have the responsibility as information security professionals to use our skills and knowledge to protect and defend what we hold precious. There was not a significant cyber component to the attacks we have witnessed. Neither has there been a significant role yet for cyber defense. Still, my phone hasnít stopped ringing with queries about cyberterrorism. People are looking for informed opinion and guidance in a time of widespread anxiety. This is an important role for our community. I know that each of you will do your part to encourage debate and effective preparation based on facts rather than on wild speculations.

Thereís another change in the air. This is my last letter to you as TC Chair. I will be succeeded on 1 January 2002 by Mike Reiter, who has been our Vice Chair for the past two years. This is a planned succession, and itís a good thing. We are fortunate in our TC to have many talented members who volunteer some of their time to help run the TC. To all of you who have helped during the past two years: many thanks for your help. To those who havenít yet volunteered: if not now, when?

The Oakland conference this year will be very important. It will be the first post-attack opportunity for us to get together, to tell one another our stories, and to discover how our work is relevant in this new time. Iíll see you there.

All the best,
--Tom Berson