This talk builds and expands on the findings from the 2017 USENIX Security paper, "When the Weakest Link is Strong: Secure Collaboration in the Case of the Panama Papers" to explore when and how security practices can and are successfully applied and adopted by groups under risk. The paper's findings suggest that the sociocultural context in which security measures are introduced has an enormous impact on their effectiveness - in this case study, transforming the users from the "weakest link" to the strongest.
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Susan McGregor is an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute, where she also co-chairs its Center for Data, Media & Society. McGregor’s research is centered on security and privacy issues affecting journalists and media organizations. Her current projects include NSF-funded work to provide readers with stronger guarantees about digital media by integrating cryptographic signatures into digital publishing workflows, an effort to develop novel classifiers for detecting abusive and harassing speech targeting journalists on Twitter, and using artificial intelligence and computer vision to help journalists recognize unfamiliar political graphics when reporting in the field. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Media, Entertainment & Sport, and is the author of two forthcoming books: Information Security Essentials: A Guide for Reporters, Editors and Newsroom Leaders is due out from Columbia University Press in early 2021; Practical Python Data Wrangling and Data Quality will be published by O’Reilly Media in summer 2021.