National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security: The "Four Horsemen" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 19, 2017

President Obama issues a raft of pardons and commutations on his last days in office. The Trump transition team has barely interacted with its counterparts on the National Security Council. And John Brennan reflects on Donald Trump and his legacy at the CIA.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama Is Right On Chelsea Manning

by Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennesseyvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

By the time you read this, a firestorm may—or may not—be breaking out over President Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’re not sure what the reaction is likely to be, to be honest. Predictably many of Manning’s supporters are jubilant. 

Analysis and Commentary

Six Thoughts In Defense Of James Comey

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let me start with a disclosure: FBI Director James Comey is a personal friend. So feel free to dismiss, if you like, what follows as the rantings of a guy who doesn’t like to see friends put through the ringer. That said, the emerging bipartisan groupthink on Comey needs a big splash of ice cold water.

Featured

Journalism In The Doxing Era: Is Wikileaks Different From The New York Times?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, January 16, 2017

The question is provocative, but the answer is hard. The reaction to WikiLeaks’ publication of the fruits of Russia’s DNC hack raises many puzzles about how we should think about publication of truthful secret information that touches on public affairs.

Analysis and Commentary

Empirical Data On The Privacy Paradox

by Benjamin Wittes, Emma Kohsevia Lawfare
Friday, January 13, 2017

The contemporary debate about the effects of new technology on individual privacy centers on the idea that privacy is an eroding value. The erosion is ongoing and takes place because of the government and big corporations that collect data on us all: In the consumer space, technology and the companies that create it erode privacy, as consumers trade away their solitude either unknowingly or in exchange for convenience and efficiency.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Are The Trump Allegations Hanging Around When They Haven’t Been Substantiated?

by Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 12, 2017

What is one to make of the apparent inability of press and government alike to verify the allegations in the Trump dossier combined with the cache of documents’ apparent staying power?

Analysis and Commentary

Obama Should Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

by Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This morning, NBC News reported that Chelsea Manning is on the short list for a possible commutation from President Obama. Back in September—with much attention focused on a Pardon Snowden campaign—we advocated he consider commuting Manning’s sentence.

Analysis and Commentary

Another Day, Another Material Support Suit Against A Social Media Company

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another group of terrorism victims has filed suit against a social media company for allegedly giving material support to a terrorist group, in this case ISIS. These cases have been proliferating of late.

Featured

Contrarian Thoughts On Russia And The Presidential Election

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts in the United States,” says the U.S. intelligence community in the most important sentence in its dismayingly evidence-free report on Russian activities in the presidential election. But how is the United States going to check these future influence efforts?

Analysis and Commentary

The Privacy Paradox II: An Event At Brookings On Friday

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On Friday morning, I will be releasing a new Brookings paper that readers may find interesting. Stewart Baker of Steptoe & Johnson and Amie Stepanovich of Access Now will be discussants on the paper, which I wrote with Emma Kohse.

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.