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IRBs and Security Research: Myths, Facts and Mission Creep

Simson L. Garfinkel


Naval Postgraduate School & Harvard University


Having decided to focus attention on the ``weak link'' of human falability, a growing number of security researchers are discovering the US Government's regulations that govern human subject research. This paper discusses those regulations, their application to research on security and usability, and presents strategies for negotiating the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval process. It argues that a strict interpertation of regulations has the potential to stymie security research.

Simson L. Garfinkel 2008-03-21