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Student Research | Cybersecurity and Privacy Rights

An interview with Samantha Bellina, an undergraduate student in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, on her capstone research project.

What are you researching?

I wrote my capstone research project about the balance that is required between civil liberties in a time of advancing technologies. National security has always been a priority of the United States government, as well as foreign attacks and further development of cyberspace. My paper’s purpose was to investigate the current threats, definitions, theories, and policies when it comes to cyber security and privacy rights. I collaborated with Professor Simon Singer as he persuaded me to take this research to the next level and focus on what really interested me. I want to go into cyber law so I thought this was a great opportunity to dive in.

What led you to pursue this research?

During my final semester at Northeastern, I took two classes that peaked my unknown interest in cyberlaw. Professor Koenig’s course Computers in Today’s Society focused heavily on laws and difficulties faced when governing in this new technological age. Professor Passas’s course Organized Crime showed me how that technology is used by criminals to undermine our government and economic systems. This was a whole new world of crime I had never considered and was extremely intrigued by so I wanted to dive more into these topics and decided to focus my capstone on it.

How has the research impacted you?

This research confirmed my interest in pursuing law, specifically in the cyber security field. I not only learned how to read court cases and law material, but also to find underlying motives and opinions within a ruling. I’m confident that these skills will be extremely useful as I begin law school this fall.

What is the end goal of your research?

Essentially, I hope that my research inspires readers to think more critically about the importance of national security and its potential infringement on individual rights. This paper can create awareness of the mitigating factors of cyberlaw and promote more solid definitions in the field to develop.

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