National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

Cyberattack Attribution As Empowerment And Constraint

by Kristen E. Eichensehrvia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, January 15, 2021

When a state seeks to respond to a cyberattack, must it first attribute the attack to the perpetrator responsible? This essay explores the international and US domestic laws governing cyberattack attribution and argues that attribution to another state can bolster the US executive branch’s authority to act pursuant to its Defend Forward policy and, conversely, that the absence of attribution can place the executive on less certain legal footing.

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U.S. Cyber Command's First Decade

by Michael Warnervia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) turned ten years old in 2020. It is a unique institution—a military command that operates globally in real time against determined and capable adversaries and yet never fires a shot or launches a missile. The Command comprises an amalgam of military, intelligence, and information technology capabilities that came together into its present shape more by design than by fortuitous chance. That design, however, was itself a work in progress.

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US Cyber Command’s First Decade

by Michael Warnervia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, December 3, 2020

United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has implemented the theory that advanced states must operate in cyberspace at scale using military entities. The command’s growth and progress followed debates over that vision and its refinement through offensive and defensive operations. USCYBERCOM actively influenced these debates and by 2020 had become an integral element in national defense, helping shape events and force design in both friendly and adversary nations.

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Cyberattacks And The Constitution

by Matthew C. Waxmanvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Contrary to popular view, cyberattacks alone are rarely exercises of constitutional war powers—and they might never be. They are often instead best understood as exercises of other powers pertaining to nonwar military, foreign affairs, intelligence, and foreign commerce, for example. Although this more fine-grained, fact-specific conception of cyberattacks leaves room for broad executive leeway in some contexts, it also contains a strong constitutional basis for legislative regulation of cyber operations.

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Due Diligence And The U.S. Defend Forward Cyber Strategy

by Eric Talbot Jensen, Sean Wattsvia Lawfare
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

As its name implies, the 2018 US Department of Defense Defend Forward strategy is principally reactive. The strategy assumes that the United States will continue to suffer harm from competitors and malign actors through cyberspace. Accordingly, it outlines US reactions in order to preempt threats, defeat ongoing harm, and deter future harm. 

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Due Diligence And The US Defend Forward Cyber Strategy

by Eric Talbot Jensen, Sean Wattsvia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, October 15, 2020

This paper analyzes the international law principle of due diligence and its potential role in the United States’ emerging Defend Forward cyber strategy. The authors begin with a brief review of due diligence and recount recent efforts to apply due diligence in cyberspace. They then review past US experience with due diligence and conclude that renewed recognition of this principle might complement the Defend Forward strategy in cyberspace, if appropriately tailored.

Analysis and Commentary

Covert Deception, Strategic Fraud, And The Rule Of Prohibited Intervention

by Gary P. Cornvia Lawfare
Thursday, September 24, 2020

If information is power, then the corruption of information is the erosion, if not the outright usurpation, of power. This is especially true in the information age, where developments in the technological structure and global interconnectedness of information and telecommunications infrastructure have enabled states to engage in malicious influence campaigns at an unprecedented scope, scale, depth, and speed. 

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Covert Deception, Strategic Fraud, And The Rule Of Prohibited Intervention

by Gary P. Cornvia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, September 18, 2020

The Digital Revolution and the evolution of the information environment have ushered in an unprecedented era of information conflict, with revisionist states using hostile, disinformation-based influence campaigns to subvert democratic governance and the rule of law. International law has struggled to keep pace. This essay argues for an interpretation of international law that would consider strategic, covert deception as a form of prohibited coercion in violation of the rule of nonintervention.

Analysis and Commentary

Persistent Aggrandizement? Israel's Cyber Defense Architecture

by Elena Chachkovia Lawfare
Monday, August 31, 2020

Since 2011, the Israeli government has worked to centralize and streamline cyber defense authorities and responsibilities. It has established a new civilian national security agency to oversee cybersecurity preparedness and monitor and respond to cyber threats. The government has also advanced comprehensive draft legislation in broad consultation with a variety of relevant stakeholders from the private sector and civil society to regulate the authorities and operations of that new agency.

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Persistent Aggrandizement? Israel’s Cyber Defense Architecture

by Elena Chachkovia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

This essay compares Israel’s cyber defense architecture and recent reform with key concepts in current US strategy: Defend Forward and Persistent Engagement. It finds that the Israeli equivalent to Defend Forward is far less regulated than its US parallel, and that the Israeli version of Persistent Engagement at home allows domestic action and harnesses the private sector in ways that the US approach does not contemplate.

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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. 

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. 

Event

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The Jean Perkins Foundation 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 is the chair of the Jean Perkins Foundation Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law.