National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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The Constitutionality Of The Syria Strike Through The Eyes Of OLC (And The Obama Administration)

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, April 7, 2017

“The opinions of judges, no less than executives and publicists, often suffer the infirmity of confusing the issue of a power's validity with the cause it is invoked to promote, of confounding the permanent executive office with its temporary occupant,” wrote the esteemed Robert Jackson in the first paragraph of the most celebrated opinion in the most famous presidential power decision in Supreme Court history.

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The “Grand Bargain” At Risk: What’s At Stake When The President Alleges Politics In Intelligence

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The U.S. intelligence community is on the verge of a crisis of confidence and legitimacy it has not experienced since the 1970s. Back then, the crisis was one of the community’s own behavior. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s the intelligence community used its secret powers of surveillance and other forms of government coercion—often but not always at the behest of its political superiors—to spy on and engage in operations against Americans for political ends. 

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Cautionary Notes On A Select Committee For The Russia Matter

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, March 27, 2017

I agree with Susan and Ben that an independent national commission to investigate the Russia matter is, at this time, unrealistic. But I’m unconvinced by their argument that a select congressional committee—a specially formed committee in one or both houses of Congress, with special staffing and resources—would be an improvement on the three committees now investigating the matter.

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.

Featured

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.

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.

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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.

Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosts "Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces" on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

Event
In the News

The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

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

Event

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.

Event
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. 

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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.