National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

Apple Is Selling You A Phone, Not Civil Liberties

by Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennesseyvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Note to Apple: As a general matter of strategic communications, following the words “We have no sympathy for terrorists” with a “But” generally means you’ve gone badly off message—even if you wedge a few sentences in between.

Analysis and Commentary

Recent Brookings Events On Syria

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, February 12, 2016

I haven't had a chance to watch or listen yet to this recent pair of Brookings panels on the moral and practical problems of the worldwide refugee crisis, but I recommend them very highly because of the quality of the people involved (not just my wife) and the importance of the issues to Lawfare readers.

Analysis and Commentary

E-Residency In Estonia, Part II: Wherein I Visit The Estonian Embassy, Collect My Digital Identity Card, And Interview Kristjan Kuurme

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 11, 2016

I know that many Lawfare readers have been waiting with baited breath—the suspense unbearable—to find out what happens next in my quest for Estonian digital residency. (See here, here, here, and here for prior episodes in this drama.) Well, your suffering is at an end. Today, at 2 pm, I rang the doorbell of the Estonian Embassy in Washington and met with Kristjan Kuurme, Third Secretary—Political Affairs, who issued me my card.

middle east
Featured

The Impending "Humanitarian Catastrophe" In Aleppo

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

As the Russian-backed Aleppo offensive proceeds, State Department official Brett McGurk testified today that Aleppo is on the verge of “a humanitarian catastrophe.” In the face of that catastrophe, allied complaints about U.S. disengagement and cries at home for U.S. intervention grow louder. 

Analysis and Commentary

Does The ACLU Stand By Its Principal Technologist's Claim That I Am A "Horrible Person"?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the ACLU's principal technologist—as part of a lengthy and admittedly contentious Twitter exchange—just tweeted this: "@benjaminwittes @Susan_Hennessey I don't hate your project. I just think you're a horrible person who loves surveillance & defends torture."

Analysis and Commentary

New York Times Editorial: Sweden Should "Walk Away" From Rape Case

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, February 8, 2016

There's a headline I never expected to write. Among my many criticisms of the New York Times editorial page, after all, I would never until today have accused it of being soft on sexual violence.

Analysis and Commentary

New Issue Of Harvard National Security Journal

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Harvard National Security Journal's fall issue, published earlier this week, may be of interest to Lawfare readers. Ashley Deeks of UVa Law School (and Lawfare) argues that intelligence agencies restrain how foreign peer agencies conduct their work and view their legal obligations.

Analysis and Commentary

An Out Of The Box Approach To The Going Dark Problem

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I’ve been thinking about out-of-the-box ways to address the "Going Dark" problem. Specifically, I am looking for approaches that potentially thread the needle between an industry allergic to any technological mandates, civil libertarians and cryptographers deeply committed to strong encryption without back doors, and a government alarmed by the rise of encrypted communications it cannot capture.

Analysis and Commentary

Marco Rubio's Guantanamo Fantasy

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, February 1, 2016

"And yes, when I am President of the United States, if there is some place in this country where radical jihadists are planning to attack the United States, we will go after them wherever they are, and if we capture them alive, they are going to Guantanamo."

Analysis and Commentary

The Future Of Violence Is Now: "Hostile Use Of Drones"

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This is interesting for folks interested in The Future of Violence—a new report on "Hostile Drones: The Hostile Use of Drones By Non-State Actors Against British Targets."

Pages

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.