National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

What Is And Isn’t A Big Deal In Trump’s Executive Actions Related To The Border

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, February 16, 2019

On Feb. 15, President Trump took a number of legal steps, including declaring a national emergency and invoking emergency authorities, in connection with his efforts to construct a wall on the southern border. There are important senses in which Trump’s actions are a big deal, and important senses in which they are not nearly as big a deal as many contend.

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Who Do You Sue?

by Daphne Kellervia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms. The essay contends that questions of state and private power are deeply intertwined. To understand and protect internet users’ rights, we must understand and engage with both.

Featured

Constitutional Issues Relating To The NATO Support Act

by Curtis A. Bradley, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, January 28, 2019

President Trump is making noises again about withdrawing the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO. Last week the House of Representatives voted 357-22 in support of the NATO Support Act. The bill does three things. First, it states the “sense of Congress” that the president “shall not withdraw the United States from NATO,” and that “the case Goldwater v. Carter is not controlling legal precedent.” 

Featured

On What Grounds Can The FBI Investigate The President As A Counterintelligence Threat?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Sunday, January 13, 2019

The New York Times reported on Jan. 11 that the FBI “began investigating whether President Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests” soon after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. In other words, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation on the president.

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The Important, Justifiable, And Constrained Role Of Nationality In Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

by Peter Swire, Jesse Woo, Deven R. Desaivia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

This article addresses whether governments ever have a justified basis for treating targets of surveillance differently, in any way, based on nationality. Topics include (1) three ways nationality can matter to surveillance; (2) reasons for stricter rules for law enforcement and domestic collection; (3) reasons for different rules based on the location of collection; (4) the universalist critique of surveillance laws based on nationality; and (5) reasons that can justify stricter surveillance rules based on nationality. Stricter protections are warranted because surveillance of nationals and others with a close connection to the domestic policy poses a special threat to the political opposition and free press of a country, both of which play crucial roles in limiting abuses of state power.

Analysis and Commentary

A Qualified Defense Of The Barr Memo: Part I

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, January 4, 2019

Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner have harshly criticized William Barr’s memo on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice theory. They say (in the New York Times) that the memo “seriously damages [Barr’s] credibility and raises questions about his fitness for the Justice Department’s top position” and (later, on Lawfare) that the memo is “poorly reasoned.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Death Of Article II Treaties?

by Curtis A. Bradley, Oona A. Hathaway, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 13, 2018

President Trump has submitted only one treaty to the Senate so far in his presidency. That is a historic low, and it is the latest sign that the Article II treaty process may be dying.

Analysis and Commentary

Winter 2018 Supplement For Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases And Materials

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Below is the Winter 2018 Supplement for Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2017). These materials cover, among many other things, the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii (the “travel ban” case), which is excerpted with questions; the Supreme Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank concerning corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute; the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; legal issues raised by U.S. missile strikes against Syria.

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Flat Light

by Andrew Burt, Daniel E. Geer, Jr.via Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The world of information security has always had reference points – or ground truths – that, like physical features in a landscape, served as navigational features for practitioners and policymakers alike. As time has passed and the state of information security has become more uncertain, these features have eroded. As reference points, they are now either unhelpful (at best) or disinformative (at worst). A deep state of disorientation is now upon us - in privacy, in security, and beyond. This paper explains how we arrived at this point, and suggests what to do next.

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2018 And Beyond

by John P. Carlin, David A. Newmanvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, November 12, 2018

Despite the assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and will continue this type of activity in the future, there has been little national action. This paper contends that the inaction partially stems from political and bureaucratic obstacles to preparing a US response to any future interference—including obstacles to overcoming public apathy, the concern that any measures taken might favor one political party, and federalism questions that arise whenever the federal government considers proposals affecting state election conduct. 

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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

How Our Dependence On The Internet Threatens Our Security

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution's National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group, along with Hoover's Washington, DC office, in partnership with Lawfare host a discussion on the dangers present on the Internet and how we can do more to prevent cyber-attacks using the most successful defensive strategies.

Event

A Look At The Current Administration's War On Terror

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution's National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group, along with Hoover's Washington, DC office, in partnership with Lawfare host a discussion about the Obama Administration's strategy on The War on Terror.

Event

Understanding ISIS & its Dark Future

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution's National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group, along with Hoover's Washington, DC office, in partnership with Lawfare host a discussion on ISIS that will discuss the long, arching threat of ISIS, its religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy which have shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadows its dark future.

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.