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Dan Geer

Daniel Earl Geer, Jr.
Citizenship USA
Fields Computer Scientist
Institutions MIT
Alma mater Harvard University (SC.D. Biostatistics)
Known for Project Athena
Open Market

Dan Geer is a computer security analyst and risk management specialist. He is recognized for raising awareness of critical computer and network security issues before the risks were widely understood, and for ground-breaking work on the economics of security.

Geer is currently the chief information security officer for In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in technology to support the Central Intelligence Agency.[1]

In 2003, Geer's 24-page report entitled security: The Cost of Monopoly"In"Cyber was released by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). The paper argued that Microsoft's dominance of desktop computer operating systems is a threat to national security. Geer was fired (from consultancy @Stake) the day the report was made public.[2] Geer has cited subsequent changes in the Vista operating system (notably a location-randomization feature) as evidence that Microsoft "accepted the paper."[3]

Geer received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, where he was a member of the Theta Deuteron charge of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. He also received a Sc.D. in biostatistics from Harvard, and has worked for:[4]

In 2011, Geer received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award.[5]


  • Geer's Law: Any security technology whose effectiveness can't be empirically determined is indistinguishable from blind luck.


  1. ^ Dan Geer leaves Verdasys for In-Q-Tel, by Ryan Naraine, ZDNet, May 28, 2008. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  2. ^ "Critique of Microsoft eyed in firing: Ex-tech officer claims report cost his job", by Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, September 27, 2003. Reprint. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  3. ^ Dan Geer Helping CIA,, August 4, 2008.
  4. ^ "Daniel Earl Geer, Jr., Sc.D.". 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Flame Award : USENIX". 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

External links

  • Dan Geer's home publications page
  • By Richard ThiemeAll Geered Up: An Interview With Dan Geer
  • by Dan GeerLetter to Massachusetts Senator Marc Pacheco on OpenDocument Standards
  • by Ellen MessmerOh Dan Geer, where art thou?
  • by Dan Geer (PDF format)Security of Information When Economics Matters
  • by Dan Geer (PDF format)The Shrinking Perimeter: Making the Case for Data-Level Risk Management
  • Time based security and the convergence of both digital and physical security (PDF format)ConvergenceDan Geer's
  • Dan Geer's April 23, 2007 Testimony to Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology (PDF Format)
  • Geer's nomination to the FTC Advisory Committee
  • Cybersecurity as RealpolitikGeer's keynote speech at Black Hat USA 2014: ; video of Geer's keynote
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