Workshops‎ > ‎cs-ga-2010-1‎ > ‎cs-ga-2010‎ > ‎

Howard Simkevitz

Sr. Privacy and Information Technology Counsel, Bell Business Markets


HOWARD SIMKEVITZ is Senior Associate Director at Bell Canada where he provides privacy consulting services in the areas of: enterprise privacy strategies and frameworks, web-based privacy risk and assessment tools and gap analysis against best practices and legislation. He also serves as a trusted advisor to the Bell Privacy Centre of Excellence. Prior to joining Bell, Howard was in private practice with a focus on privacy, technology, intellectual property and e-commerce law.  Howard is an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Privacy Law section.  Before he began practicing law, Howard had eight years’ professional experience in technology including advanced information system design and management, web design, network administration and multivariate statistical analysis.  He is the author of several papers and is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics including privacy, information technology and Internet regulation.  Howard received his BA from the University of Western Ontario, his MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and his law degree from the University of Ottawa.


Battling Botnets: Implications for a Cybercrime Strategy  

Botnet attacks are proliferating at an alarming rate. Whether the issue is terrorism, organized crime or integrity of government, botnets play an increasingly important role. Challenges faced in combating botnets are exacerbated by the fact that like other cybercrimes they often transcend national boarders and the lines between public and private spheres. Law makers and law enforcement agencies alike should employ a multi-faceted strategy that considers the interplay between the technology and the crime. For this reason, one must begin with asking a very simple question: how is combating botnet attacks, and, more generally, combating cybercrime, different than combating other types of crime?

The presentation will examine whether cybercrimes are substantively different from real space crimes and whether this requires a re-thinking of traditional means for dealing with crime. To shed light on this inquiry, the presentation will look at the sufficiency of current Canadian laws in handling cybercrimes and, specifically, botnet attacks. It will include a discussion of the legal and privacy concerns related to intelligence gathering associated with proactive defence measures against Botnet attacks. The presentation will also look more broadly at how regulatory modalities such as law, market forces and architecture function in cyberspace and how these may be applied to combating cybercrimes. The presentation will suggest that law makers need to draft laws that anticipate the technology used to commit crimes. It will also suggest that a well-crafted proactive cyber defence against botnets will see a centralized, coordinated effort among a variety of players necessitating a heavy reliance on public-private partnerships.