National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Featured

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.

Featured

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.

Featured

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.

Featured

A Precedent For Democrats On The Classy Way To Handle Neil Gorsuch

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Neil Gorsuch is an eminent jurist who is undoubtedly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. So too is Merrick Garland.

Featured

Quick Thoughts On Sally Yates’ Unpersuasive Statement

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, January 30, 2017

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates—who was Barack Obama’s Deputy Attorney General and has been running DOJ until Jeff Sessions is confirmed—today sent a letter to top Justice Department officials announcing that she will “will not present arguments in defense of” President Trump’s controversial Immigration Executive Order “unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.” In response, President Trump just fired her.

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The Elephant in the Room: Addressing Child Exploitation and Going Dark

by Susan Hennesseyvia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, January 27, 2017

The public debate over encryption and Going Dark insufficiently addresses the issue of child sexual exploitation. This article describes the particular impacts of Going Dark on the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of child sexual abuse crimes. It reviews the available statistics related to quantifying the scope of the problem and the ways in which these crimes have become easier to commit and more difficult to detect. It concludes that lawful hacking, wherein the government exploits existing software vulnerabilities to circumvent security, is a necessary element of a Going Dark solution. To that end, the article explores the legal and policy questions that must be addressed in order to develop a practical and realistic response.

Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security: The "Centennial" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 26, 2017

President Trump has announced executive orders on border security and immigration policy—and maybe interrogation. Ex-military officers are taking senior posts in the National Security Council.

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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.

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. 

Event
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. 

Event
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. 

Event
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. 

Event
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. 

Event
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.

Event
Analysis and Commentary

Dark Territory: The Secret History Of Cyber War

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Dark Territory: The Secret History Of Cyber War" on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.

Event

Constitutionality Of The U.S. Drone War

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Targeting Americans: Constitutionality Of The U.S. Drone War" on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.

Event

Pages

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.