Benjamin Wittes

Benjamin Wittes

Biography: 

Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and codirector of the Harvard Law School–Brookings Project on Law and Security. His most recent publication is Speaking the Law (Hoover Institution Press 2013), cowritten with Kenneth Anderson. He is the author of Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor after Guantanamo, published in November 2011 by the Brookings Institution Press, and coeditor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change (forthcoming). He is also the author of Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror, published in June 2008 by Penguin Press, and the editor of the 2009 Brookings book Legislating the War on Terror: An Agenda for Reform. He cofounded and cowrites the Lawfare blog (http://www.lawfareblog.com/), which is devoted to nonideological discussions of hard national security choices, and is a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law.

His previous books include Starr: A Reassessment, published in 2002 by Yale University Press, and Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times, published in 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield and the Hoover Institution.

Between 1997 and 2006, he served as an editorial writer for the Washington Post specializing in legal affairs. Before joining the editorial-page staff of the Washington Post, Wittes covered the Justice Department and federal regulatory agencies as a reporter and news editor at Legal Times. His writing has also appeared in a wide range of journals and magazines, including the AtlanticSlate, the New Republic, the Wilson Quarterly, the Weekly StandardPolicy Review, and First Things.

Benjamin Wittes was born November 5, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Oberlin College in 1990. He has a black belt in tae kwon do.

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Blogs

Did the Intercept Just Admit It Makes Up Facts?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, July 31, 2015

It isn't every day you have an exchange with a journalist who just comes out and admits—twice, actually—that a story in his publication contains made up facts.

Blogs

Users Weigh In On What Database The PLA Should Hack Next

by Benjamin Wittes, Paul Rosenzweigvia Lawfare
Friday, July 31, 2015

The results are in. Lawfare's “Name that Database” contest is now closed. All we can say is that Lawfare readers are a remarkably creative—and scary—bunch of folks. Some of these ideas are really quite spectacular.

Blogs

Rational Security, The "What Happens In Aspen" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, July 30, 2015

In my humble opinion, this is the best episode yet of Rational Security. If you've never listened to it before, check this one out.

Blogs

In Defense of Our “Braindead Jihad Against Encryption”

by Benjamin Wittes, Zoe Bedellvia Lawfare
Thursday, July 30, 2015

We expected that our piece this morning on liability standards with respect to end-to-end encryption would provoke strong reactions.

Blogs

Civil Liability For End-To-End Encryption: Threat Or Fantasy? Part II

by Benjamin Wittes, Zoe Bedellvia Lawfare
Thursday, July 30, 2015

In the first part of this series, we looked at the question of whether Apple could be held liable in a negligence tort for refusing to retain the ability to provide law enforcement with decrypted communications in response to legal process.

Blogs

The Best US Database To Hack? A Lawfare Contest

by Benjamin Wittes, Paul Rosenzweigvia Lawfare
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yesterday, each of us considered the question of which unclassified databases in the US would be worth it for the Chinese to hack next.

Blogs

Other Unclassified Databases The Chinese Are Probably Stealing

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, July 27, 2015

Let's play a game called, "If I were the PLA, I'd Spy With My Little Eye." Ever since the OPM hack, I've been thinking about other unclassified government databases a foreign intelligence service that wants OPM data, trade secrets, and Anthem health records would likely find attractive.

Blogs

More Videos From The Aspen Security Forum

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, July 27, 2015

I posted a first batch last week. Here are the rest of the videos from this year's Aspen Security Forum.

Blogs

Rational Security, "The Chinese Cookie Monster" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Saturday, July 25, 2015

This week on the show, Shane and I are abandoned by Tamara, who has run off to the Aspen Security Forum—to which neither of us were invited. So we bring back special guest Wells Bennett, and invite Lawfare intern Quinta Jurecic on as well.

Blogs

The Lawfare Podcast: Comey, Johnson, And Rogers Speak At Aspen

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Saturday, July 25, 2015

This week, the Aspen Security Forum featured interviews with—among others—FBI Director James Comey, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers.

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