National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

The Watergate Road Map: What It Says And What It Suggests For Mueller

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

In neat script near the top of the document, someone has written, “Filed under seal, March 1, 1974.” Above that, red typed letters read, “Unsealed October 11, 2018 by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Order No. 11-mc-44 (BAH).

Analysis and Commentary

Jaworski Road Map To Be Mostly Unsealed

by Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, October 15, 2018

One month ago, the three of us filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for the release of the so-called “Watergate Road Map”—one of the last great still-secret Watergate documents. Last week, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, acting in a separate case, ordered the document’s release. The move, as Josh Gerstein notes in this Politico story, appears to have been prompted by our petition, on which we have been represented by the folks at Protect Democracy. 

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Fixing Social Media’s Grand Bargain

by Jack M. Balkinvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, October 15, 2018

To regulate social media, we should focus on its political economy: the nature of digital capitalism and how we pay for the digital public sphere. This political economy creates perverse incentives for social media companies—encouraging them to surveil, addict, and manipulate their end users and strike deals with third parties who will further manipulate them. Treating social media companies as public forums or public utilities is not the proper cure, but social media companies, whether they like it or not, do have public obligations. This essay focuses on one approach to dealing with the problems of social media: new fiduciary obligations that protect end user privacy and counteract social media companies’ bad incentives.

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The Great Delusion with John J Mearsheimer

interview with John J. Mearsheimer, Jack Goldsmithvia Security by the Book
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
The Hoover Institution hosted "Security by the Book with John J. Mearsheimer" on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 5:30pm - 6:30pm EST.
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Tech Firms Are Not Sovereigns

by Andrew Keane Woodsvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

It is increasingly common to hear that the sovereigns that reign over the Internet are Internet firms—the companies that set user policies and wield enormous influence over the day-to-day functioning of the Internet. The user base of these firms can be larger than many countries. They have foreign policy teams and have even engaged in experiments with user-driven self-governance. In many ways, they look like states. But firms are not sovereigns.  Some public-facing Internet firms may find it expedient to resist some states, some of the time on some issues. But this does not mean that Internet firms are a serious and lasting threat to state sovereignty. Treating them as such is a distraction from the real problem: determining how and with what limits states—sovereign nations—ought to be able to achieve their aims online.

Featured

Quick Notes On The Rosenstein Revelations

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, September 21, 2018

There is a lot to chew over in the blockbuster New York Times story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s erratic behavior in his first few weeks on the job, just after President Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey on May 9, 2017.

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Advanced Persistent Manipulators And Social Media Nationalism

by Clint Watts via Aegis Paper Series
Monday, September 17, 2018

Social media platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity for influencing populations. Citizens in Western democracies spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms and—as their virtual connections increase in number and intensity—they’ve begun to form social media nations affecting real-world national security.  Moving forward, social media, as an industry, will face a range of advanced persistent manipulators (APM) seeking to infiltrate, harness, and shape the perspectives of social media nations. The challenge of APMs will create an enduring threat to user trust and confidence in social media platforms.

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Platform Justice

by Danielle Citron, Quinta Jurecicvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The role of dominant content platforms like Facebook and Twitter in facilitating Russian election interference in the 2016 US presidential election has precipitated a backlash against “big tech,” and now the pendulum is swinging toward greater regulation of platforms for what their users say and do. Read the Lawfare post here.

Analysis and Commentary

The Dangers In The Trump-Brennan Confrontation

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, August 20, 2018

President Trump’s revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance brings together in an unfortunate way two pathological trends in the Trump era, and highlights the conundrum of the former intelligence official who wishes to speak out against the president’s attacks on the Russia investigation and the intelligence community more generally.

Analysis and Commentary

Executive Branch Lawyering In Time Of Crisis

by Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

We have complementary articles about the proper conception of lawyering for the president in times of crisis in the most recent issue of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics that we thought might be of interest to Lawfare readers.

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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

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

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

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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. 

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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. 

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. 

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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. 

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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.