X Close

UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Home

Applied in Focus. Global in Reach

Menu

From Cyber Stalking to Spyware: what do we know about stalkerware in intimate partner violence situations?

jay3 July 2020

By MPA candidates Jay Neuner, Maddalena Esposito and Thomas Bermudez 

Smartphones and other devices are the lifelines of the modern world. Navigation, information, connection – these critical resources are right at our fingertips.

But for some, the very devices used to enrich their lives are now being used to endanger them. Through “stalkerware” – apps that, once downloaded onto a device, can geo-locate, log keystrokes, access other apps, and much more – others can monitor and even manipulate the device user’s activity. Some of these apps are nearly undetectable. Worryingly, reports from news media, advocacy groups, academia, and others are finding that many perpetrators of these malicious acts are none other than a spouse or other intimate partner, as one of many means of perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV).

Chayn logo

Chayn logo

These apps represent a disturbing evolution in the phenomena of cyber-stalking, online harassment, and other technology-facilitated abuse. While those fields are increasingly well-documented (though still limited by the relative nascency of the digital realm), stalkerware’s use in IPV is an emerging field requiring much more research.

(more…)

Digital Policy Careers in the UK Government  

Leonie M Tanczer18 June 2020

Dr Leonie Tanczer, Lecturer in International Security and Emerging Technologies, summarises key takeaways derived from a unique guest lecture on digital policy careers in the public sector. A must-read for anyone interested in working in this space! 

The students of our Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) “Digital Technologies and Policy” degree had quite a treat recently. Two officials from the “Cyber Security and Digital Identity Directorate” at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) – joined us virtually (as one does nowadays!) to share some useful insights on what to expect when aspiring to a career in the UK Government. We would like to highlight some useful observations and tips.

Civil Service Fast Stream

Civil Service Fast Stream by www.faststream.gov.uk

(more…)

UCL MPA Candidates present at BSI Standards e-Conference

Siobhan Pipa15 May 2020

Written by the MPA students Natalia Maj, Malla Tedroff, Jiehui Song, Jan Sassenberg and Gabriella Ezeani

Medical devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, software, Covid-19, the future of healthtech and… Zoom. On the 23rd of April, we presented our MPA research project on standardization and regulatory challenges of connected and intelligent medical devices at the first ever online BSI Conference, which attracted hundreds of participants from diverse industries and backgrounds. You can listen to the presentation here.

BSI team photoAs part of the MPA at STEaPP, students work in groups together with a client on a real-world problem for their final master’s project. This year, we, a group of students comprising Natalia Maj, Malla Tedroff, Jiehui Song, Jan Sassenberg and Gabriella Ezeani, are collaborating with the British Standards Institution (BSI), the UK’s national standards body, on challenges related to the rise of intelligent and connected medical devices. Medical devices are becoming increasingly connected and technologically advanced, incorporating technologies such as artificial intelligence. These innovations disrupt the established regulatory frameworks, creating new regulatory and standardization challenges, especially relating to the protection of patient safety and device security. New, or complementary, standards are needed to address the regulatory gaps, and this is a very fascinating and challenging topic to research due to the complexity of software and connected devices.

(more…)

Play-acting as Cyber Experts for a Day: The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

jay6 March 2020

By Natalia Maj, Jay Neuner, Jiehui Song and Malla Tedroff

Sleepless nights, ever-changing information and high-stress briefings to senior officials, business leaders and policy makers – sounds like a dream job, no? The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge gave our Unbreakable Cyber League team a 48-hour taste of just this life as cyber security experts, with all it entails.

The Unbreakable Cyber League

The Unbreakable Cyber League – Natalia, Jay, Malla and Jiehui

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, held 17-18 February in the iconic BT Tower, brought together university teams from across the UK to respond to a simulated national cyber security incident. Starting from an initial brief of what has occurred, the teams decide what they’d recommend to ministers and policymakers in charge – and then recalibrate response recommendations again and again as the incident evolves (i.e. worsens) over the competition period.

(more…)

The future of digital poachers – where to for digital conservation?

isabellamanghi29 July 2019

MPA student Isabella Manghi reflects on her interest in Digital Conservation which she explored as part of her Digital Technology and Public Policy degree at UCL STEaPP.

Image of elephants

© Isabella Manghi

The effects of the climate crisis together with factors such as the expanding human population, pollution, and a lack of sustainable development have led to the endangerment of many species. Biologists, researchers, charities and international organisations are desperately fighting to preserve our biodiversity and therefore proving essential to research on behavioural patterns and the effects of the climate on different species.

Biologists, organisations and charities have traditionally employed locals to track certain animals, but recently, digital tracking, which can take the form of mounting collars onto animals, has emerged as a method to facilitate crucial knowledge production within the conservation community. Through the application of technological, inter-connected systems, the opportunities to study diverse species have increased. Yet, there are eminent problems associated with these systems, many of which are vulnerable to exploitation and misuse, including allowing poachers to track down and hunt endangered species to the benefit of their bank account.

(more…)