National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

What Yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee Portends

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, January 6, 2017

There actually wasn’t that much new information conveyed at yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian election hacking and other foreign cybersecurity threats. 

Analysis and Commentary

Air Force To DC Employees: No Drinks Around Inauguration

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, January 6, 2017

Hold off on that toast to the Commander in Chief.

Analysis and Commentary

Follow Buddies And Block Buddies: A Simple Proposal To Improve Civility, Control, And Privacy On Twitter

by Danielle Citron, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The 2016 election has put squarely on the public agenda a series of questions related to the norms of social media, everything from the proliferation of fake news on Facebook to the trolling culture of Twitter. These questions are not new. The culture of abuse online towards women, for example, is a matter about which one of us wrote a book.

Analysis and Commentary

Judge Lamberth Orders SSCI Report Turned Over To The Court

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 29, 2016

The other day, Quinta and I noted that counsel for Abd al Rahim Al-Nashiri had asked the court in his habeas case to have a copy of the Senate Intelligence Committee's interrogation report filed under seal with the court.

Analysis and Commentary

Al-Nashiri Moves To Preserve SSCI Report In Habeas Case

by Benjamin Wittes, Quinta Jurecicvia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Speaking of Guantanamo habeas litigation, which one of us was yesterday, there's been an interesting development in the Al-Nashiri habeas case. This particular habeas case out of Guantanamo has been a sleepy one, since all the action in the Abd al Rahim Al-Nashiri matter has been in his military commission trial and related federal court litigation.

Mousque of Al-aqsa in Old Town - Jerusalem, Israel
Analysis and Commentary

A View From Jerusalem Of A Trump Ambassadorial Appointment

by Benjamin Wittes, Paul Rosenzweigvia Lawfare
Monday, December 19, 2016

The news that President-elect Donald Trump has named as his ambassador to Israel a far-right bankrupcy lawyer named named David Friedman came to us while we were in—of all places—Jerusalem, while we were attending a weeklong set of briefings by Israelis and Palestinians put on by Academic Exchange.

Analysis and Commentary

How To Serve In A Trump Administration

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, December 16, 2016

I recently received an email from a reader who works in a sensitive area at a federal government agency in response to what the author terms “the back and forth on [Lawfare about] whether to serve the incoming administration.”

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.


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.