National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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How Hard Is It To Work For President Trump?

by Jack Goldsmith
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Wall Street Journal has a surprisingly tough editorial urging President Trump to stop the “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.” The thrust of the editorial is that Trump’s mendacity is hurting his presidency.

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The Encryption Debate In Europe

by Daniel Seversonvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, March 20, 2017

The going dark debate has spread to Europe. The commercial growth of encryption and a wave of terrorist attacks have spurred new laws to detect and disrupt terrorism. This article reviews the most recent encryption-related legislation in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Poland. The article discusses the legislative debates, as well as aims to achieve coordination at the EU level. Although Europe has so far disavowed banning encryption or mandating pre-installed backdoors, several countries have enacted statutes authorizing compelled decryption. The article concludes by briefly comparing the European approach to the American legal regime.

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The Trump Onslaught On International Law And Institutions

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, March 17, 2017

Two months in to the Trump administration, we are witnessing the beginnings of the greatest presidential onslaught on international law and international institutions in American history. The onslaught appears to be driven by a combination of economic nationalism, anti-cosmopolitanism, anti-elitism, a belief that international law does not reflect American values but threatens American institutions, and a related belief that “American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy.”

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McGahn Should Have Preempted The (Latest) Flynn Mess

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Over at Daily Beast I explain why I think White House Counsel Don McGahn should have discovered and fixed Michael Flynn's foreign agent problems long before Flynn became National Security Advisor.

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More Questions About McGahn In The Flynn Imbroglio

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Washington Post reported on Monday that it was “unclear what the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, did” when Acting Attorney General Sally Yates told him last month that Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about his phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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The Real Constitutional Danger

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It is more than a little amusing, in light of the events of the last week, that we still see concerns about whether “we’re in a constitutional crisis” due to excessive presidential power, and about “how much … the early days of the Trump administration look like the Third Reich,” and about how the United States is part of a global movement on a downward spiral toward “repressive kleptocracy.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Spotlight Will Now Shift To The White House Counsel

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I was pretty hard on White House Counsel Donald McGahn in connection with the horrible roll-out of the Trump Executive Order on immigration, and his inability or disinclination to control the President’s self-destructive attack on courts.

Cybersecurity In The Trump Administration: What Should We Expect?

by Benjamin Wittes
Monday, February 13, 2017

In partnership with Hoover Institution in Washington and Intel Security, Lawfare is holding on February 22 a conference on what we can expect in cybersecurity in the new administration. Here's the event announcement. RSVPs are required, so please sign up.

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The Practical Legal Need For An ISIL AUMF

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

“The Trump White House is nearing completion of an order that would direct the Pentagon to bring future Islamic State detainees to the Guantánamo Bay prison,” reports Charlie Savage. This development gives new urgency to the enactment of an ISIL AUMF.

Analysis and Commentary

Does Trump Want To Lose The EO Battle In Court? Or Is Donald McGahn Simply Ineffectual (Or Worse)?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, February 6, 2017

I’m starting to believe that either Donald Trump wants courts to strike down the Immigration Executive order, or that his White House Counsel is incompetent or ineffectual.

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Aegis on Lawfare

 
Aegis explores legal and policy issues at the intersection of technology and national security.  Published in partnership with Lawfare, it features long-form essays of the working group, examines major new books in the field, and carries podcasts and videos or the working group’s events in Washington and Stanford.

Security by the Book Podcasts

The Security by the Book podcast series features monthly interviews with authors of important, new national security-oriented books and publications.

The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosts "The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State" on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

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U.S-China Relations: Cyber and Technology

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law hosted a conference on March 14-15, 2017 titled, U.S.-China Relations: Cyber and Technology, which focused on the future of conflict and cooperation between China and the United States in the realm of cyber and technology. The goal of the event was to foster a rich and wide-ranging discussion geared toward producing practical ideas and recommendations of immediate usefulness for Washington policymakers and lawmakers.

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In the News

Cybersecurity In The Trump Administration: What Should We Expect?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Cybersecurity in the Trump Administration: What Should We Expect?" on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 11:00am - 3:00pm EST. 

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In the News

How America Lost Its Secrets

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted a discussion on "How America Lost its Secrets" with author Edward Epstein on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:0pm EST. 

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In the News

The Drone Memos

Monday, January 9, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Drone Memos" on Monday, January 9, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

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In the News

Company Confessions: Secrets, Memoirs, And The CIA

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Company Confessions: Secrets, Memoirs, and the CIA" on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

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In the News

Soldiers On The Homefront: The Domestic Role Of The American Military

Monday, November 14, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Soldiers on the Homefront: The Domestic Role of the American Military" on Monday, November 14, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. 

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In the News

The President's Book Of Secrets: The Untold Story Of Intelligence Briefings To America's Presidents From Kennedy To Obama

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents from Kennedy to Obama" on Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. 

Event
In the News

How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything: Tales From The Pentagon

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything: Tales From The Pentagon" on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. 

Event
In the News

Code Warriors: NSA's Codebreakers And The Secret Intelligence War Against The Soviet Union

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Code Warriors: NSA's Codebreakers And The Secret Intelligence War Against The Soviet Union" on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.

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The Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law brings together national and international specialists with broad interdisciplinary expertise to analyze how technology affects national security and national security law and how governments can use that technology to defend themselves, consistent with constitutional values and the rule of law.

The group will focus on a broad range of interests, from surveillance to counterterrorism to the dramatic impact that rapid technological change—digitalization, computerization, miniaturization, and automaticity—are having on national security and national security law. Topics include cybersecurity, the rise of drones and autonomous weapons systems, and the need for and dangers of state surveillance. The group’s output will also be published on the Lawfare blog, which covers the merits of the underlying legal and policy debates of actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation and the nation’s laws and legal institutions.

Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes are the cochairs of the National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group.