National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security, Episode #95: The “RexSec” Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 15, 2016

The CIA concludes that Russian hackers tried to help Donald Trump get elected. Trump will nominate Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state. And the Obama administration is confident that journalist Austin Tice, held hostage in Syria, is alive. 

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International Spillover Effects

by Jennifer Daskalvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, December 12, 2016

As the encryption debate continues, proponents on both sides decry the negative international side effects of the policies they oppose.  This essay analyzes the claims, examining the potential effects of the specific policies being pursued.  It ultimately concludes that even the “no new regulation” approach has potentially significant spillover effects.  These effects are bidirectional and dynamic: US policies and practices have a spillover effect internationally; but the policies and practices of foreign actors also influence the effectiveness of any decryption policy, and thus the scope and distribution of any such effect.  This highlights the need for centralized, executive-level review of sought-after decryption orders, so as to better account for the potential effects.

Analysis and Commentary

The Reward Of Tillerson Won't Deter Russia

by Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, December 12, 2016

The aggregate sequence of events over the last few days involving Donald Trump, the intelligence community, the Russian Federation, and the still-unannounced naming of Exxon Mobile’s Rex Tillerson as our next Secretary of State is both odd and disturbing.

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Analysis and Commentary

The White House Releases A "Report On The Legal And Policy Frameworks" On American Uses Of Military Force

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, December 5, 2016

Last year, Kenneth Anderson and I published a book entitled, Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration's Addresses on National Security Law, which is a detailed analysis of the Obama Administration's national security law views, as seen through the lens of a body of speeches given by senior administration officials.

Analysis and Commentary

Senator Kaine On The Forever War

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, December 3, 2016

Last Wednesday, Senator Tim Kaine devoted his first Senate speech since the election to the AUMF and the war against ISIL. The occasion for the speech was the death Naval CPO Scott Dayton, a Virginian who was killed on Thanksgiving day while disposing of bombs near Raqqa, Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve (the operation against the Islamic State).

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China, Encryption Policy, and International Influence

by Adam Segalvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, November 28, 2016

It is difficult to disentangle the influence of U.S. encryption policy on the development of Chinese regulations and laws. Independent of what happens in Washington, Beijing has a long history of using encryption policy to foster national and domestic security as well as to promote economic growth and indigenous innovation. 

Analysis and Commentary

Reflections On Service In A Trump Administration

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Since Donald Trump’s election as president, I have had more than my share of inquiries from current and aspiring Justice Department attorneys about the ethics of service under the new President-elect. 

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Libertarian Panic, Unlawful Action, And The Trump Presidency

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Since Donald Trump’s election two weeks ago, we have witnessed—on the pages of Lawfare, and throughout mainstream and social media—what my colleague Adrian Vermeule once described as “libertarian panic.” 

Analysis and Commentary

We’re Worried About The Baltics: What Does Trump’s Election Portend For These Tiny U.S. Allies?

by Ashley Deeks, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Many U.S. allies have spent the last week pondering what Donald Trump’s election means for their foreign policy and national security. The tiny Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are surely among the most worried.

Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security: The "Welcome To The New Not Normal" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Trump administration transition has begun—right? The president-elect sits down with “60 Minutes” and leaves the fate of FBI Director James Comey uncertain. And foreign governments react to Trump’s election.

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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.

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.