Two universities unite for event on cyber law

When you hear the word terrorism, you may think of gunshots, explosions, or violence; but it’s often a quiet attack on things you use every day. Those include your computers and smart devices. That’s why two South Dakota universities are joining forces to get ahead of the cyber terrorists and attackers. Students from each are bringing their expertise together to better understand cyber law, and they’re hearing from an FBI expert.

You may not think too much about a quick social media post, or using your credit card online, but maybe you should.

“For the first time in my 22 years in the bureau, and I’ve been hyper-focused on counter terrorism since 9/11, I lose sleep at night over the cyber threat,” Jill Sanborn, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said.

Hacking businesses, election interference, and cyber terrorism are all topics at the CLEAR Cyber Leaders’ Conference in Sioux Falls.

“I think it’s becoming more dangerous, because it really is a bit like the wild west,” Jose-Marie Griffiths, Dakota State University president, said.

That’s why cyber students from Dakota State University and law students from the University of South Dakota are learning more about cyber law.

“Now is the time for us to start evolving cyber law,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths says the goal is to bring both fields together, to better understand cyber crimes and how to prosecute the criminals behind them.

“The problem is the law isn’t always there to prosecute those responsible. It’s even very hard to determine who is responsible,” Griffiths said.

Sanborn, a keynote speaker at the event, says this type of partnership is just one way to pay attention to ever-evolving cyber threats that target us.

“The more we walk and talk and understand each other, so the more academia understands law enforcement and law enforcement understands academia, the more productive and effective we’ll be against the threats,” Sanborn said.

Griffiths says there’s a possibility DSU and USD could form a partnership in the near future to offer a co-curriculum of classes in cyber law and related fields. In addition to the two schools, the Better Business Bureau co-sponsored Wednesday’s event.

To learn more about how to protect yourself against cyber crimes, you can visit the FBI’s website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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