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Reflection on Java Security and Its Practical Impacts

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Joint with the Security seminar series

In this talk I look back to a (then) new Java security architecture that was designed 15 years ago and is now standard across all Java platforms, and draw lessons from that experience. For example, design security technologies that are appropriate for the target set of “customers” (e.g., programmer or users?); manage the constant conflicts between the want (of the enforcers) to protect and the desire (of the enforced) for freedom; and why lasting impact is often practical rather than theoretical, given that no useful security is absolute. This will not be a typical research talk, but I will throw in some anecdotal stories to (try) make it worthwhile.

Bio. Li Gong was in the PhD program at the Computer Lab from 1987 till 1990. He had a flourishing research career before joining the newly formed JavaSoft in 1996 to become Chief Java Security Architect and led the design and implementation of a new Java security architecture that is now in common use today. His corporate career included general manager of Sun Microsystems China R&D center, general manager of the online division of MSN in China for Microsoft, and now CEO of Mozilla Online Ltd., the Beijing-based subsidiary of the Mozilla Corporation. He also has an entrepreneurial side and participated in a number of startups in the Sillicon Valley and in China.

He served as both Program Chair and General Conference Chair for ACM CCS , IEEE S&P, and IEEE CSFW . He was Associate Editor of ACM TISSEC and Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Internet Computing. He held visiting positions at Cornell and Stanford, and was a Guest Chair Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He has 14 issued US patents (2 of which were among the 7 patents that Oracle cited in the lawsuit against Google in August 2010), co-authored 3 books (published by Addison Wesley and O’Reilly) and many technical articles, and received the 1994 Leonard G. Abraham Award given by the IEEE Communications Society for “the most significant contribution to technical literature in the field of interest of the IEEE .”

This talk is part of the Wednesday Seminars - Department of Computer Science and Technology series.

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