tv Communicators an the State of the Net Conference Part 2 CSPAN March 27, 2017 8:00am-8:33am EDT
>> cybersecurity and campaigns. >> host: and now on "the communicators," we want to introduce you to matt lira. what do you do for a living? >> guest: i am a senior adviser to the house majority leader, ken mccarthy, which is a fancy way of saying i help 'em him with communication and trying to modernize the federal government. >> host: and what's your background for that position? >> guest: so my career has been at the cross-section of the sort of tech and the private sector, capitol hill but particularly in leadership, or leadership offices and in the political space. so i like to say there's this venn diagram of winning campaigns, trying to, you know, improve government and getting some tech jobs every now and again. that's how i landed where i'm
at. >> host: so what's your training? >> guest: well, i was -- i trained in computer science, kind of old school coding. i was actually -- i don't want to be too in the weeds, but i was pretty good at action script which is a totally defunct language now. [laughter] and also in doing kind of communications marketing. so i've always been pulled between those two worlds. >> host: before we get into why you're here at the state of the net conference, how important today is tech to a campaign? >> guest: well, i think it's become a core competency. much like -- it touches every aspect of the campaign. i cannot stress enough how important it is to winning an election. and, obviously, the higher stakes the election gets, the more important that becomes. so in the previous cycle, 2014 cycle, i was the deputy executive director of the national republican senatorial committee, and one of our
primary focuses was making sure that the republican senate campaigns that cycle were doing things like this well. and then our successors in the 2016 cycle continued that, and senator gardner has now started this, and he probably ran -- not probably, he ran the most sophisticated campaign in 2016 -- >> host: corey gardner of colorado. >> guest: right. they're now all at the nrc. one, i think he's an incredible senator, but also because technology has become much like in the private marketplace foundational to how you sucking seed in a cam -- succeed in a campaign. >> host: when we read or hear that somebody is crunching the numbers, what does that mean? >> guest: in that context, probably that they're using data to have greater situational awareness over where voters are and what they're likely to do on election day or really during the election surgeons general because with early voting and absentee, it's no longer really
one day, but a couple week window. and it's possible now with technology and sort of data algorithms and etc. to get a sense in realtime or close to realtime where voters are, their likely hood of supporting your candidate or your opponent and their likelihood to vote. and you kind of put those two data points together, and you have a general picture of how the election is going to go. at least if you're doing it well. >> host: well, what do you look at when you look at a voter? do you look at someone's facebook page, or is that pretty -- >> guest: is so it depends on the campaign, the level of sophistication. the more advanced levels it's possible to use a very long list of data points to analyze both social activity, also access to consumer marketing information. some of these trends go all the way back to '04's sort of microtargetting. now you can think of the
decade-plus amount of fest case that has been created that is now available to campaigns. there's always kind of a space race between the democrats and the republicans over who's got the edge over these kinds of tools and that will, i think, continue for some time. and at times we've had the edge, and at times they've had the edge, and it's really about how many -- how can i put data points together to give me a more accurate picture of where voters are. the primary data point, of course, is always first-person contact and leveraging all the data that you gather as a campaign. you think about all the call centers, all the door knocking, the online surveys and the rest and using that data in a centralized way and layering to say if this is true for them and look at other data points that are available to them, what does that say about where other people are. at the presidential level, i think that some of the -- both the democrats and republicans are doing that at a level of sophistication that is at least
equal to what you see in the marketplace. and at the statewide level, i think it's more sophisticated than it's ever been but, obviously, you can't rest on your laurels. >> host: how significant is microtargetting? >> guest: so, well, i think it's a slightly outdated concept personally because that was about building tranches of voters using the technology that, you know, helped elect george w. bush to his second term whereas today i think it's much more, it's much -- it's not, it is more possible to use it as an individual level, and not in a spooky like i know about you way, but to identify voters in places that would never have been captured before. let me give you an example. so in virginia, you know, there are, let's say there's a county that is overwhelmingly democratic. and there's historically been no republican turnout efforts there, probably not republican candidates -- and this is true, by the way, vice versa. so it works either way.
and so as a result, there's actually a lot of low hanging fruit for a statewide election because, okay, there might be 10% republicans there, but they dent vote pause they think it doesn't matter or they've never been activated, and actually figuring out who they are -- and i think this is something that both sides have been pretty good at. i know it was important in the last gubernatorial race in virginia and likely next year as well. say, okay, i know i'm going to lose if i'm a republican, but if there's that 10, 15, 20% republican there, how about i get them to vote, because it gives a statewide total that matters. things like that can really matter, and that's a distinction between sort of traditional microtargetting of, like, gun other thans who like to snowboard and who that 10% in arlington that support me or that 10% in southwest virginia who might vote for a democrat. >> host: one of the buzz terms we use a lot today is big data. how does that fit in? >> guest: that powers
everything. it can be overplayed, but the data is the most valuable asset you have. especially that first party data that you've gathered as a campaign, but also any other, you know, the legacy data that exists from previous campaigns. i know this was something that was very important to the rnc over the last couple cycles as a result of the 2012 election and, you know, if someone volunteered, for example, in a race a cycle ago, knowing who that person is, they're more likely to volunteer this cycle, etc. and it's a big part of what i know firms do on the left as well. so there's that arms race over gathering more information but also using it in a more intelligent, sophisticated way. >> host: is that for sale on the market somewhere? everybody's big data? >> guest: well, the voter list is public in most places, but the, like, the kinds of volunteer data and stuff is usually pretty proprietary to the political parties.
and there are exceptions, obviously. i mean, the stuffs that is more available in the marketplace is the consumer marketing databases which power a lot of e-commerce transactions and, you know, targeting facebook ads with increasing levels of sophistication and even things like, you know, one of my favorite analogies is the auto industry. i'm not an expert in this by any means, but what i've been told is from that moment of interest when you kind of see an ad or you kind of, your windshield wiper breaks, maybe i need a new car, the auto dealers essentially have three months to get you to buy a car statistically. so when they -- they spend a lot of time, energy, resources figuring out, okay, who's in that zone, and let's get them to buy the car. and if you show any kind of hint of an interest, go to cars.com for one day, you will see auto ads for about three months everywhere you go. that's an example. in a campaign, we don't have a three-month window, we have an election day, maybe early
voting, absentee, the concepts are similar. so, you know, there's a lot of commercial data points that can be useful to augment the data that you have, but it's a space race. laugh. >> host: so, matt lear rah, how does that translate into your current job? -- matt lira. >> guest: so at a foundational level, at a fundamental level it's broader in the sense that technology's disrupting every sector of our economy, you know? entertainment, news, banking, transportation. i mean, i challenge anyone to think of a sector that hasn't been impacted in the last decade in particular. and yet government is woefully behind in that area. and this is more than sort of a surface window dress problem, this is creating a disconnect between the way we live our lives, sort of this on demand, efficient, you know, 24/7 world where we can, you know, watch web videos from egypt on our
smartphones while we're at 35,000 feet, you know, and the way the government works. and that disconnect is getting wide e and it's creating a lot of frustration. as i look to how do i leverage what i've learned from both tech experience but also campaigns, it's how do we apply technology to make government work better which, by the way, also has typically the side effect of working more efficiently, therefore, saving money at the same time. the ultimate policy no-brainer, in my view, and it's the view of my boss. we provide better services for lower cost. and it isn't necessarily because we're geniuses -- [laughter] it's because the disruption by technology is so fundamentally challenging our entire economy. and government has no choice but to reflect that reality, and it will. we've been through this. i mean, i don't think we've ever been through it quite at this scale, but our democracy was created in an agrarian society. and it, it's survived and
thrived and, in fact, i would argue in a lot of ways improved upon itself as we went into an industrial society. and we are at that same kind of inflection point today between sort of an industrial economy and maybe an information economy, however you want to phrase it, that creates an amazing opportunity to not just survive as a democracy, but to create, you know, a more perfect union. you think about the medium of television and the amazing role it has plaid, will play and will continue to play and, obviously, forms like c-span in providing ownership over our public institutions. imagine what interactive technologies can bring to that table. where you're not just watching these debates, but you could be a part of them. so that's my day job. [laughter] >> host: are there a different set of rules for government than there are for campaigns? >> guest: absolutely. >> host: and business? >> guest: you know, rightly so. the government is a public
institution is which can be a challenge sometimes, and some of those rules, i think, need to be modernized and changed to enable some -- you think about something like the paperwork reduction act which was last passed in, you know, the '80s before most of this technology was on the scene. it is now actually having the perverse effect of actually insuring -- it's like the paperwork protection act in some ways because of the change in technology. so there are examples like that. ecpa reform, privacy roadway form had -- reform had passed the house last year, and the last time it had been reformed, "top gun" was the number one movie. any law that deals with technology that it can, you know, where it's present day, that applies to the bill as well, it needs to be reformed. so the rules are different. some of those rules need to change, but i think the opportunity in some ways is i don't want to say greater because i think opportunities are huge everywhere, but in some ways can be really impactful.
like, i look back to those guys that were the folks who started, you know, in the '50s kind of figuring out, tinkering with tv, and i read a great article once about kind of how they did it. and, essentially, they were like these kids in this corner of the room, oh, like, we're the serious grown-ups, and we're going to deal with the newspaper endorsements and the traditional, you know, city buses, and you guys just play with this tv thing over here. and, of course, like those guys not only became central to winning campaigns, but they went on to create things like "60 minutes" and other things in the marketplace and in the information space. so you could see kind of a similar evolution in terms of digital technology in politics and now coming into government where, you know, maybe 5-10 years ago it was like, well, okay, we're doing tv ads, the old school stuff. you guys play with this new toy over here. and it's becoming increasingly central. every cycle, you know, the people that do it become more
and more important to a campaign. and it's not the only thing, but it's kind of taking on a maturity, and i think that it reflects the reality of where the tech is. >> host: new administration, republican house and senate. >> guest: yeah. >> host: what do you see happening in this venue? >> guest: so, obviously, tremendous opportunity. you know, the first point i'd like to make, i think, is when it comes to tech policy, it's been quite consciously so a very bipartisan, collaborative area even during the most partisan times of the last eight years. the leader, leader mccarthy has worked very closely with people like steny hoyer the make sure that these bills are consensus-driven. we don't always do that on every bill, of course, but there's an overwhelming number. last year through the innovation initiative, we passed 35 bills in less than six months. the average bill had over 380 votes in favor. and these bills then are going on to become law. in fact, the last bill president obama signed, the talent act --
which i believe he signed it 11:07 a.m. friday, doesn't cut it much closer, was the innovation bill. so putting that there as, you know, before you even get to the context of the political alignment, there is energy whenever you have a new administration and a new congress to do things, and this is a con consensus-driven area,d i think it will continue to be one. so we're going to see a lot of progress. you know, that said, when you take out some of the thornier issues and think about this party alignment, hopefully, it will create the opportunity to do some more structural changes that will be beneficial for our system and our democracy and the rest. >> host: where does privacy land in your -- >> guest: so it is, it's like one of those great american debates, and i think it will continue. the technology has raised new questions about old, an old value debate. and that is certainly something
that has been on the topic of our entire conference, the entire congress, and i know the new administration because there are legitimate cross-pressures and important determinations that need to be made. i think what's important i think for a lot of the people in this discussion is making sure that we are aware that we are setting precedents that will continue to exist into this digital future. and so as much -- we want to be, you know, we want to make sure and be very thoughtful and sensitive to the fact that we are setting a precedent that lasts. you look back to the founding generation and what by no means perfect, but one of the things that we're at least giving them credit for now is they were very thoughtful about the precedents they were setting, and i think we're at another moment like that. and i think it's very important for the public to be engaged in that debate throughout it as it plays out not just on one bill, but as a long-going public discussion because it will have
such big implications for the way our society functions. >> host: you were in grade school when the telecom act was written in 1996 -- >> guest: yeah. >> host: is it time for a rewrite? >> guest: i know it's been discussed by the relevant committee chairs. that talking point is used a lot in terms of age of the bill. it's obviously, like, a high impact thing, but that is potentially one of the structural things that, you know, that's being looked at. i think anytime you have the kind of party alignment, you really have to start looking at, you know, how do you tackle some of those thorny issues. interestingly, i think that bill was pa passed with divided government in the '90s, so it doesn't mean it has to be in this moment, but there is clearly an opportunity. >> host: matt lira, thanks for your time. >> guest: thank you. it was a pleasure to be here. >> so i'll approach this from the perspective of copyright. >> host: and now joining us on "the communicators" is lior div,
co-founder and ceo of a group called cyberreason. swhat is that? >> guest: it's a cybersecurity company that focuses on the enterprise and market, and our basically mission is to protect or enable big enterprises to protect themselves in the new era of cybersecurity. >> host: okay. how do you do that? >> guest: so, basically, we've developed a new technology. it's a new big data technology that enables the consumer information from every computer that exists in the environment consumes its information in realtime and really asks and answers those types of questions. how we see it right now an adversarial activity in the environment meaning not just the one virus in one computer, are we seeing adversaries that actually have a mission to attack this company. once we find that there is an adversarial activity in the department, we can tell you what
they are, how they're moving in the environment and also -- [inaudible] in realtime. >> host: so is it that your code is different? is that unique? >> guest: i think the main thing that is unique about cyberreason is the mindset and our heritage. we really understand the sensitive cybersecurity operation. our heritage, i spent more than six years in the 8200 unit in israel -- [inaudible] and then a few years in the government agency that is equivalent to the cia here x this is reflective of the people we have. we have people coming from interpol, from nsa and other agencies. i think that in general cyberreason is bringing the knowledge of what the adversaries are out there, what they are doing, what is their mindset. then we develop the technology that will enable us to protect those companies. >> host: so you take that mindset, do you do that as a
computer scientist, or do you do that as a terrorist expert? >> guest: so that's a great question because i believe that the combination of the two is the right combination. because eventually the way we implemented the solution is we develop the technology. we created a new big data a.i. technology, but the mindset is the same mindset of how you can find terrorist attacks. once you apply this in the computer time board, it is creating something that is very, very powerful: >> host: how far along are we with a.i., with artificial intelligence? >> guest: so i think a lot of people are using a. i. as a bad word. i think it's -- [inaudible] statistical analysis and using a lot of -- between the bytes that you are collected in order to achieve in the process or achieve in things that are -- [inaudible] and to find the things that are
abnormal. the easiest way that we can explain it is when a level iii analyst, cybersecurity specialist is looking for an attack, usually he will have a hunch. we're using a.i. and technology in order to -- [inaudible] his hunch. and then there is a real process of how to say, hey, this is not just a hunch, this is a real attack that's happening inside the company. >> host: how'd you get started in this area? >> guest: so in '95 i joined the israeli army, and since then i'm dealing in part of cybersecurity in different ways and shapes and forms. and some of them i can disclose and some of them i cannot. [laughter] >> host: and is there a large tech community in israel? >> guest: oh, yes. so israel, think about it as the silicon valley on steroids.
the amount of people that are, or the amount of entrepreneurship that's happening in israel, it's enormous. just in our space there is more than 420 companies in the cybersecurity realm. so it's like every two people that left the army have an idea, they will pursue their dream, and they will not stop. >> host: when did you found cyberreason? >> guest: i founded sign -- cyberreason with my two cofounders in 2012. since then the company moved and grow from three people to 220 people. we have offices in tokyo, tel aviv, boston and u.k.. >> host: why boston? >> guest: is boston, we were looking for a place in the east coast, because we knew we were going to have the development and the intelligence group in tel aviv. so in order to make sure that those two groups work as one
team and not two separate team and work in hour differences, we decided that we want to go to the east coast. and then the debate between new york and boston, we decided that we will be able to recruit and hire more talented people in our field in boston. and by now it's like we know that we did the right choice because we managed the grow the team from zero to more than hundred people in boston. >> host: did you consider washington? >> guest: so we didn't, to be honest. and it's interesting because with hindsight, probably we would consider, but back then washington wasn't even on our list. >> host: so you are here at the state of the net conference, mr. div. what are you doing here? >> guest: so i believe the cybersecurity agenda in general, this is super, super important agenda that need to be pushed. and the reason is that cybersecurity is not a problem that it was have in technology
and then it will be gone. cybersecurity is a problem that it's here to stay. and if we, as a company and other in our field, is not going to push and educate everybody about the cyber problem, i think that then we will be in a big problem. i believe that right now we see a lot of progress in the public and private sectors, people starting to understand that, hey, we need to start working together. because if we're not going to work together, the old days that the government is a closed -- [inaudible] and that's it are gone. >> host: well, your presentation was a chat with judiciary chair bob goodlatte. what'd you ask him? >> guest: so, actually, they issued a new study that they did about -- they call it about encryption, but basically it was more about the use of encryption and what is okay or not okay for the government, meaning is it okay for the government to put
back doors inside encryptionrd in to enable the government to have access to the information n. the old days, the question was, yeah, of course. in this day the answer is not so simple. because once you put any back door in a technology, yes, that can be used for the government, but it can be used for hackers as well. and once we learned in the past few years is if this is a back door, hacker will find it. and no matter how well you hide it. and then we have a bigger problem than just sharing information with our government, basically this kind of way to share information has become public and everybody can use this information. so finally, the government interest is to make sure that this encryption is good because that protect everybody. >> host: where does private fit into your world? >> guest: so cyberreason, we believe that privacy is super important. there is no doubt about it in one hand.
on the other hand, we believe that security is super important. that's the reason that i said earlier that it's not just easy yes against encryption or no. it's how we make it happen that together we keep privacy and and enable the government to do their job and to enable private companies to do their job. so i don't believe that there is like a easy one-line answer to this question. >> host: lior div, are there state actors in this arena? >> guest: so the answer is definitely yes. i think that -- and this is part of the education as well. if you look at the map, there is kind of two forces that happening. one is a state actor that we've seen from many, many different countries, by the way. there is the obvious one, but there is the unobvious one. every major company understand that cybersecurity become a topic the that they need to address the same way they have a
military and air force and other forces, they need to have a cyber force. and of course, what we see is another gores that's becoming stronger and stronger, and this is the criminals, meaning that the use of -- [inaudible] becomes something very prevalent in the last year because suddenly you can encrypt files, you have bitcoins that enables you to get money, and you have a strong business model that criminals starting to use. to answer your question, we're seeing state act to haves and concern -- actors and criminals becoming stronger and stronger. >> host: who are the business clients that to go to your company? >> guest: the fortune 100 companies, but understand at the end of the day, ifer ther not going to protect themselves against cybersecurity, they can be gone. and that's a real risk to their
business and not just to their clients. suddenly we have customers from the fortune five all the way down to 500, 200-people companies. >> host: what about the government? >> guest: so we're not working yet with the government. we're starting to have a discussion with the government. lockheed martin, the defense contractor, is one of our investors. so basically this is kind of the way that we are going to approach the government sector. >> host: lior div is cofounder and ceo of cyberreason. thanks for your time. >> guest: thank you very much. >> if you'd like to see more of c-span's "communicators" programs, go to c-span.org. ♪ ♪ >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your
cable or satellite provider. ♪ ♪ >> today the senate judiciary committee will meet to discuss some of the nominations pending before that committee. those include judge neil gorsuch, supreme court nominee, rod rosenstein, nominated to be deputy attorney general, and rachel brand who is the president's choice for associate attorney general. you can watch the meeting live at noon eastern here on c-span2. >> in case you missed it on c-span, francie headaches, national coordinator for child child -- >> i used to think the hardest thing i would ever have to do is look into the eyes of a child and listen to her story about being abused. i was wrong. the hardest thing i ever had to do was watch their abuse, sometimes still photos,
sometimes video, sometimes with sound. all heart-wrenching. and even now, impossible to forget. >> agriculture secretary nominee sonny purdue. >> farmers are really struggling to be profitable, hold on, and many times even the best farmers are not able to produce a product even with the best production capabilities they may have. so i think trade is really the answer. >> msnbc's chris matthews at the first amendment awards dinner. >> the truth contained in hard news, the truth that arrives on the front page or on the straight news broadcast, that's what contains the politician. that's what stops the overreach in power. and that's what the country takes seriously. and that's what matters this hour, this week, this time in our lives. >> treasury secretary steph mnuchin on -- steve mnuchin on comprehensive tax reform. >> the goals of tax reform, okay, which are about creating a middle income tax cut, about
creating personal tax simplification and making u.s. wizs competitive -- businesses competitive, okay, where we have a very high business tax rate and worldwide income, you know, we're able to take the tax code and redesign things. >> pfizer ceo ian read on pharmaceutical costs. >> no one's using our medicines in the exchanges because the exchanges don't provide them access. so i think we do need to reform the health care the way it's delivered and the consequences will be with patients. >> and epa administrator scott pruitt on environmental policy. >> there are some exciting things going on with respect to clean coal technology across the globe. there's some exciting things going on in the nuclear space but not here. most of that's happening in europe presently because of the disincentives that we put into play here in this country with respect to nuclear. i mean, if you really care about some of seize environmental concerns, nuclear ought to be in the mix