Marshall Erwin

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Marshall Erwin was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, supporting its Working Group on Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy and conducts research into intelligence topics. Between 2004 and 2010, he worked as a counterterrorism and cybersecurity analyst in the intelligence community. He also served as the counterterrorism and intelligence adviser to Senator Susan Collins on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, where he helped lead the committee’s investigation into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. More recently, Erwin was the intelligence specialist at the Congressional Research Service, playing a critical role in shaping the congressional response to National Security Agency surveillance leaks and consulting with members of Congress on legislative changes to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) statute. He holds an MPP from Georgetown University and a BS in computer science and a BA in philosophy, both from Stanford University.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Is Al-Qaeda in Iraq?

by Marshall Erwinvia Just Security
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

As an analyst in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, I spent four years as one of the agency’s leading experts on al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq.

Analysis and Commentary

Are National Security Lawyers a National Security Threat?

by Marshall Erwinvia Real Clear Defense
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

After a year of public debate following the Snowden disclosures and with surveillance reform legislation finally moving forward in Congress, it has become clear that the United States is under threat from within from its own national security law scholars.  

CIA Headquarters
Analysis and Commentary

Snowden Disclosures Hurt Intelligence Agencies' Recruitment

by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins, Marshall Erwinvia San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, April 25, 2014

The Edward Snowden disclosures of National Security Agency surveillance certainly have awakened concerns in a portion of our country that feels strongly about the protection of civil liberties. Snowden's disclosures seem to have created a perception that the values of the intelligence community are not American values, that its activity is inconsistent with our ideals.

Bringing The NSA In From The Cold

Bringing the NSA in from the Cold

by Amy Zegart, Marshall Erwinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 21, 2014

Americans need to be convinced the secret agency is working for their good—and that any privacy trade-offs are worth it.

The Myth of NSA Omnipotence
Analysis and Commentary

The Myth of NSA Omnipotence

by Marshall Erwinvia Just Security
Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Forum on Law, Rights, and U.S. National Security

Analysis and Commentary

Connecting the Dots: Assessing the Effectiveness of Bulk Phone Records Collection

by Marshall Erwinvia Just Security
Monday, January 13, 2014

A Forum on Law, Rights, and U.S. National Security

Privacy, Security, and the National Security Agency (NSA)
Analysis and Commentary

NSA Must Resolve Image Problem

by Amy Zegart, Marshall Erwinvia Omaha World-Herald
Friday, November 8, 2013

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s ongoing revelations about U.S. surveillance programs, the National Security Agency is facing the worst crisis in its 60-year history.

US Flag
Analysis and Commentary

The NSA's Image Problem

by Amy Zegart, Marshall Erwinvia Los Angeles Times
Thursday, October 31, 2013

In the wake of Edward Snowden 's ongoing revelations about U.S. surveillance programs, the National Security Agency is facing the worst crisis in its 60-year history. Today, too many Americans mistakenly believe the NSA is listening to their phone calls and reading their emails. But misperception is only part of the agency's problem. In an Oct. 5-7 YouGov national poll we commissioned, we also found the more that Americans understand the NSA's activities, the less they support the agency.