Cyber - Education

trees at encina hall at Stanford University


Course offerings and areas of study related to the work and research advanced by the Cyber Policy Center and programs.

Cyber Bootcamp group shot

Events and Seminars

The Cyber Policy Center brings together experts from industry, government, academia, and civil society to Stanford for thought-provoking events and discussions on computer security issues in the news and on our minds.
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Students in the Master's in International Policy Studies program select a course of specialization in their second year, one of which is Cyber Policy. The Cyber Initiative supports these courses, and we and our researchers teach the majority of them.
cptc applied cybersecurity team

Applied Cybersecurity Club

The Applied Cybersecurity club is a Stanford group focused on teaching students practical skills in analyzing, exploiting, and defending computer systems. The club hosts a number of events and workshops open to the general Stanford community, and range from introductory to more technical.

The Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy

The Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy is a two year, full-time, professional graduate degree program. Students receive a Master of Arts in International Policy, with a subplan in one of the following areas of specialization: Cyber Policy and Security Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment Global Health Governance and Development International Security

Courses of Interest

Stanford University

CS 181: Computers, Ethics and Public Policy

Ethical and social issues related to the development and use of computer technology. Ethical theory, and social, political, and legal considerations. Scenarios in problem areas: privacy, reliability and risks of complex systems, and responsibility of professionals for applications and consequences of their work. Prerequisite: 106A. Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER Instructors: Berke, A. (PI) ; Winstein, K. (PI)

CS 251: Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies

For advanced undergraduates and for graduate students. The potential applications for Bitcoin-like technologies is enormous. The course will cover the technical aspects of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, and distributed consensus. Students will learn how these systems work and how to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network and other cryptocurrencies. Prerequisite: CS110. Recommended: CS255. Terms: Aut | Units: 3 Instructors: Boneh, D. (PI)

INTLPOL 268: Hack Lab

INTLPOL 268: Hack Lab (Formerly IPS 268) This course aims to give students a solid understanding of the most common types of attacks used in cybercrime and cyberwarfare. Taught by a long-time cybersecurity practitioner, a recovering cyberlaw litigator, and a group of hearty, motivated TAs, each session will begin with a lecture covering the basics of an area of technology and how that technology has been misused in the past. Students will then complete a lab section, with the guidance of the instructor and assistants, where they attack a known insecure system using techniques and tools seen in the field. Terms: Aut | Units: 3. Instructors: Pfefferkorn, R. (PI) ; Stamos, A. (PI)

INTLPOL 321: Fundamentals of Cyber Policy and Security

This course will provide an introduction to fundamental issues in cyber policy and security. It will focus on the way that cyber issues impact people and organizations across sectors - from government and law to business, tech, and others - and how people and organizations can and should approach the myriad cyber challenges. This is not a technical or computer science course and no technical background nor prerequisites are necessary. In the first part of the course, we will introduce cyber policy and security fundamentals. The second part of the course will explore cyber policy and security aspects related to economics, psychology, law, warfare, international relations, critical infrastructure, privacy, and innovation. The third part of the course will be focused mostly on a number of case studies designed to simulate the challenges faced by policy-makers and executive-level decision makers. This course is heavily discussion-based and so attendance is required. Assignments will consist of three short papers and a take-home final exam. All graduate students are welcome to enroll, especially those in the international policy, law, and business programs. Undergraduate enrollment only by permission of instructor. Terms: Win | Units: 4-5. Instructors: Grotto, A. (PI) ; Lin, H. (PI)

INTLPOL 230: Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

This course explores the different dimensions of development - economic, social, and political - as well as the way that modern institutions (the state, market systems, the rule of law, and democratic accountability) developed and interacted with other factors across different societies around the world. The class will feature additional special guest lectures by Francis Fukuyama, Larry Diamond, Michael McFaul, Anna Grzymala-Busse, and other faculty and researchers affiliated with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Undergraduate students should enroll in this course for 5 units. Graduate students should enroll for 3. Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5. Instructors: Stoner, K. (PI) ; Horrillo, J. (TA) ; Wang, A. (TA)

INTLPOL 232: Foreign Policy Decision Making in Comparative Perspective (POLISCI 242, POLISCI 342)

This seminar will examine how countries and multilateral organizations make decisions about foreign and international policy. The hypothesis to be explored in the course is that individuals, bureaucracies, and interest groups shape foreign policy decisions. That hypothesis will be tested against other more structural explanations of how countries behave in the international system. After a brief review of the academic literature in the first part of the course, the seminar will focus on several cases studies of foreign policy decision-making by the United States, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, as well as the United Nations and NATO. This seminar is intended for masters students and fourth-year undergraduates. NOTE: The enrollment of the class is by application only. Terms: Spr | Units: 3. Instructors: McFaul, M. (PI)

CS 152: Trust and Safety Engineering

An introduction to the ways consumer internet services are abused to cause real human harm and the potential operational, product and engineering responses. Students will learn about spam, fraud, account takeovers, the use of social media by terrorists, misinformation, child exploitation, harassment, bullying and self-harm. This will include studying both the technical and sociological roots of these harms and the ways various online providers have responded. Our goal is to provide students with an understanding of how the technologies they may build have been abused in the past and how they might spot future abuses earlier. The class will be taught by a long-time practitioner and supplemented by guest lecturers from local companies. Content note: This class will cover real-world harmful behavior and expose students to potentially upsetting material. Submit an application for the class at: Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 3. Instructors: Stamos, A. (PI)

COMM 151: The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Press (COMM 251, ETHICSOC 151, POLISCI 125P)

Introduction to the constitutional protections for freedom of speech, press, and expressive association. All the major Supreme Court cases dealing with issues such as incitement, libel, hate speech, obscenity, commercial speech, and campaign finance. There are no prerequisites, but a basic understanding of American government would be useful. In addition to a final and midterm exam, students participate in a moot court on a hypothetical case. (Grad students register for COMM 251). Terms: Win | Units: 5. Instructors: Persily, N. (PI)

COMM 251: The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Press (COMM 151, ETHICSOC 151, POLISCI 125P)

Introduction to the constitutional protections for freedom of speech, press, and expressive association. All the major Supreme Court cases dealing with issues such as incitement, libel, hate speech, obscenity, commercial speech, and campaign finance. There are no prerequisites, but a basic understanding of American government would be useful. In addition to a final and midterm exam, students participate in a moot court on a hypothetical case. (Grad students register for COMM 251). Terms: Win | Units: 4. Instructors: Persily, N. (PI)

COMM 253B: Free Speech, Democracy and the Internet (COMM 153B)

Crosslisted with LAW 7082. This course will cover contemporary challenges to democracy presented by the Internet. Topics will include disinformation, polarization, hate speech, media transformation, election integrity, and legal regulation of internet platforms in the U.S. and abroad. Guest speakers from academia and industry will present on these topics in each class session, followed by a discussion. Students will be responsible for one-page papers each week on the readings and a research paper to be turned in at the fall paper deadline. Students can take the seminar for either 2 or 3 units, depending on the research paper length. This class is limited to 30 students, with an effort made to have students from SLS (20 students will be selected by lottery) and 10 non-law students by consent of instructor. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Terms: Win | Units: 2-3. Instructors: Persily, N. (PI)

COMM 361: Law of Democracy (POLISCI 327C)

Combined with LAW 7036 (formerly Law 577). This course is intended to give students a basic understanding of the themes in the legal regulation of elections and politics. We will cover all the major Supreme Court cases on topics of voting rights, reapportionment/redistricting, ballot access, regulation of political parties, campaign finance, and the 2000 presidential election controversy. The course pays particular attention to competing political philosophies and empirical assumptions that underlie the Court's reasoning while still focusing on the cases as litigation tools used to serve political ends. Elements used in grading: Class participation and one day take home final exam. ( POLISCI 327C; LAW 577). Terms: Win | Units: 3-5. Instructors: Ginsberg, B. (PI) ; Persily, N. (PI)

Blockchain scholarship published in the Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy

The Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy is the first law journal to publish on the greater blockchain technology space. It features Articles (peer-reviewed), Essays, and Comments. Edited by Stanford University and Stanford-affiliated academics and practitioners based out of the CodeX Stanford Blockchain Group, JBLP fills a critical need in the field for a neutral, disinterested, and reputable platform to publish high-quality content and to advance discourse.