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DISCUSSION GROUPS | The Lawless Cyber Frontier

February 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Nineteenth century southwestern America lit up movie and television screens and imaginations from the earliest talkies to the latest blockbusters. The lawless West and the rugged cowboy protecting the innocent are archetypes embedded in the American psyche. Westerns have, with a few exceptions, grossly romanticized a terrifying time for the men, women, and children pushing the frontier ever westward with little or no protection. The frontier a century and a half later has no oceans to arrest its forward progress, and for many, the anarchy of cyberspace has wrought havoc on their lives with few white-hat wearing lawmen to rescue them.

Dole Fellow Ron Marks welcomes Stephanie Pell, Assistant Professor and Cyber Ethics Fellow at West Point’s Army Cyber Institute, to a discussion of bringing the rule of law to a lawless frontier. Pell stands out as an expert on the existing laws of the internet, and a leader in creating new ones, particularly at the international level. As countries and companies weaponize information on a global scale, Pell and Marks will provide vital insight into how we survive the new Wild Wild West.

Stephanie Pell is an Assistant Professor and Cyber Ethics Fellow at West Point’s Army Cyber Institute (ACI), with a joint appointment to the Department of English and Philosophy. Pell is also an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.

She writes about cybersecurity, privacy, surveillance, cyber ethics, and national security law and policy. Pell’s work has been published in several law journals, including the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, the Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and the Connecticut Law Review, as well as in the popular magazine Wired. Prior to joining West Point’s faculty, Pell served as Majority Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, serving as lead counsel on Electronic Communications Privacy Act reform and PATRIOT Act reauthorization during the 111th Congress. Pell was also a federal prosecutor for over fourteen years, working as a Senior Counsel to the U. S. Deputy Attorney General, as a Counsel to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. She was a lead prosecutor in U.S. v. Jose Padilla, in which in which American citizen was detained as an enemy combatant prior to criminal indictment, trial, and conviction on various terrorism charges, for which she received the U.S. Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award, and

in U.S. v. Conor Claxton, a court case involving IRA operatives who purchased weapons in South Florida and smuggled them into Belfast, Northern Ireland during peace process negotiations.

The Dole Discussion Groups are made possible be a grant from Newman’s Own.

This program is free and open to the public. No ticket is required.

Accessibility: Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact the Dole Institute of Politics at least four business days prior to the event date by calling (785) 864-4900 or emailing To learn more about accessible offerings at the institute, please click here.

Parking: The Dole Institute is located in KU’s West District, just west of the Lied Center of Kansas. Plentiful free parking is available in the adjoining lot. No permit is required.

Video: A free live stream of this event will be available through the institute’s YouTube channel. Following the conclusion of the program, the event will be archived to YouTube. If any technical issues occur, the video will be re-uploaded within two to three business days.


February 26
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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