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Complexities of Cybersecurity

Combating Cyberattacks In The Age Of Globalization

by Shavit Matias via The Briefing
Thursday, March 5, 2015

The cyberattack late last year on Sony Pictures, intended to deter the release of the movie “The Interview” — combined with threats of physical harm to civilians — threw once again into sharp relief the complexity and dangers of cyberspace. 

Complexities of Cybersecurity

Protecting Critical US Infrastructure

by Philip Bobbittvia The Briefing
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Presidential Decision Directive 63 was a novel and creative first step in establishing a national policy for the protection of critical US infrastructure.  Novel, in that it was the first presidential national security directive to be born unclassified...

Complexities of Cybersecurity

Cultivating Cyberattack Norms After Snowden and Sony

by Matthew Waxmanvia The Briefing
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The cyberattack late last year against Sony, attributed by the US government to North Korea, has highlighted the issue of international norms — especially those related to impermissible actions in cyberspace and permissible actions in response to them.  For the United States to effectively advance norms it must balance secrecy and transparency as well as build and sustain credibility.

Complexities of Cybersecurity

UN-THINKABLE: The United Nations Is Not The Place To Regulate The Internet

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia The Briefing
Monday, March 2, 2015

The United Nations is always looking for useful work — seeking to please 193 member states and find a way to collect their dues. But regulating the Internet is one case where Turtle Bay should keep its hands off the wheel.

Complexities of Cybersecurity

Comparing The Strategic And Legal Features Of Cyberwar, Drone Warfare, And Autonomous Weapon Systems

by Kenneth Andersonvia The Briefing
Friday, February 27, 2015

Cyberwar, targeted killing using remotely-piloted drones, and autonomous weapon systems (AWS) are all emerging weapon technologies and operational capabilities that are, or gradually will come to be, available to the world’s advanced militaries — and in some instances, available to non-state actors and individuals as well. 

Complexities of Cybersecurity

Snowden And The Opposite Of Blowback

by Tod Lindbergvia The Briefing
Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Washington Post carried a truly revelatory story by Greg Miller in its December 29 editions, although the story perhaps failed to generate as much attention as it should have. Some of the neglect may have been a product of its publication between Christmas and New Year’s, but a larger share is surely attributable to the inconvenience of its content.

Complexities of Cybersecurity

The Snowden Revelations And Cybersecurity

by Benjamin Wittesvia The Briefing
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Too often, we talk about cybersecurity as though it were a single good. We treat it, that is to say, like airline security, where our policy objective is zero civilian jetliner or general aviation vulnerabilities. 

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on
Complexities of Cybersecurity

The Tricky Issue Of Severing US “Control” Over ICANN

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Briefing
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One consequence of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was the Obama administration’s decision last year to give up power over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  ICANN controls domain names on a global basis, and has nothing to do with NSA surveillance.

Complexities of Cybersecurity

The Briefing: The Complexities Of Cybersecurity

by Peter Berkowitzvia The Briefing
Monday, February 23, 2015

In June 2013, when he began leaking thousands of classified documents — from among hundreds of thousands that he had stolen — about America's global surveillance programs, Edward Snowden, a former employee of the National Security Agency, confirmed the arrival of the cyber era...

The Digital Age

The Briefing: Secrecy and Accountability in a Digital Age

by Peter Berkowitzvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden's theft of massive numbers of National Security Agency (NSA) documents — the Pentagon estimates he copied 1.7 million intelligence files — and the distribution of those documents to journalists who have sporadically published them has damaged American national s


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This recurring series of brief essays is the work of the Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law.   While the members do not necessarily agree on a solution or set of solutions, they do share a sensibility that questions of security and questions of law are increasingly intertwined and that the Constitution provides a sturdy and flexible framework that enables the nation to provide for its defense while securing citizens’ rights and respecting international law.