National Security & Law Task Force

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The Problem at the Heart of the NSA Disputes: Legal Density

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An old friend of mine, a mathematician at an elite college, told me some time back that---while still a student---he or she had done some work for NSA and been greatly relieved by the strict assurance given in the personnel orientation that the agency does

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Reforming the Legal Definition of “Covert Action”

by Kenneth Andersonwith Peter Berkowitz, Benjamin Wittesvia The Volokh Conspiracy (Washington Post)
Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Hoover Institution essay on reforming the legal definition of "covert action" in USC Title 50.


Where Is Eric Holder?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, January 31, 2014

President Obama has sometimes faced criticism---including on Lawfare---for not defending NSA more energetically. These criticisms generally predated the president's landmark speech on NSA, which---among other things---did defend the agency and the propriet

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The Briefing: Secrecy, Accountability, and the CIA’s “Covert” Drone Strikes

by Kenneth Andersonvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, January 27, 2014

Lt. Col. Matthew Atkins on “The Personal Nature of War in High Definition”

by Benjamin Witteswith Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkinsvia Lawfare
Sunday, January 26, 2014

I met Matthew Atkins, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, recently at the Hoover Institution, where he is currently a military fellow. Lt. Col. Atkins has worked in targeting and intelligence a fair bit. And following some conversations at Hoover, he se

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Robotics and Automation, Employment, and Aging Baby Boomers

by Kenneth Andersonvia The Volokh Conspiracy (Washington Post)
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mobile, connected, supplied, and independent. Can robotics and automation supply these for aging Baby Boomers, and are they Google's self-driving cars, Apple's iPhones, Amazon's home delivery, and yet-to-emerge assistive elder-care robots? Maybe tech companies' business models are mostly about ... old people.

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The Briefing: Secrecy and Accountability in International Justice

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia The Briefing
Thursday, January 23, 2014
In recent years, consumed by the war against al Qaeda, we have addressed secrecy and accountability in a homegrown way — concerned with information the American executive branch has kept to itself, what was shared with the Congress (though a transcript is often not made at the instance of both parties), and who should take the blame for things that go wrong.
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The Briefing: Secrecy and Accountability in a Digital Age

by Peter Berkowitzvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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The Briefing: The Imperative to Protect Institutions: An Amended Front-Page Rule

by Jessica Sternvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, January 22, 2014


The Briefing

The Briefing provides perspectives on national security under the auspices of the rule of law and US constitutional law.

Lawfare Blog

The National Security and Law Task Force examines the rule of law, the laws of war, and American constitutional law with a view to making proposals that strike an optimal balance between individual freedom and the vigorous defense of the nation against terrorists both abroad and at home.

The task force’s focus is the rule of law and its role in Western civilization, as well as the roles of international law and organizations, the laws of war, and U.S. criminal law. Those goals will be accomplished by systematically studying the constellation of issues—social, economic, and political—on which striking a balance depends.

Peter Berkowitz serves as chair of the National Security and Law Task Force.