National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The ‘China, Inc.+’ Challenge To Cyberspace Norms

by Robert D. Williamsvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This paper explores two aspects of China’s governance model that pose distinctive challenges to the construction of international cyberspace norms: the embedded and intertwined nature of the Communist Party-state in China’s economy and the expansive conception of national security reflected in Chinese laws and policies. Viewed in conjunction with Chinese cyberspace strategy and activity, these characteristics of “China, Inc. +” raise vexing questions with considerable implications for US-China relations.

Analysis and Commentary

The Downsides Of Mueller's Russia Indictment

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, February 19, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia indictment represents “a remarkable rebuke of the president’s claims” that the Russia investigation was a “phony Democrat excuse for losing the election,” the Lawfare team concluded. The indictment also educates the American public about the reality and scale of the Russian threat to the American political process more credibly than last year’s intelligence community report on the matter. Perhaps it will help the United States build resilience against future attacks.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Small Towns, Big Companies: How Surveillance Intermediaries Affect Small And Midsize Law Enforcement Agencies

by Anne Bousteadvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This paper explores how efforts by companies to resist government requests for consumer information may disproportionately affect small and mid-sized law enforcement agencies, as small departments face obstacles to using commercially collected information that do not occur in the context of larger departments. Differences between law enforcement agencies that serve large communities and those that serve small communities suggest corresponding differences in their ability to adapt to changes in the process for obtaining data from digital communication companies.  Failing to account for these differences may encourage policies that will only work as expected for large law enforcement agencies.

Analysis and Commentary

The McGahn Cover Letter In Light Of The Trump Tweet

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Nunes memo was thoroughly debunked less than 12 hours after its publication. The sources of this debunking transcended politics, and ranged from The Intercept and Marcy Wheeler to Paul Rosenzweig and David French.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

A Rubicon

by Dan Geervia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, February 2, 2018

Optimality and efficiency work counter to robustness and resilience. Complexity hides interdependence, and interdependence is the source of black swan events.  The benefits of digitalization are not
transitive, but the risks are.  Because single points of failure
require militarization wherever they underlie gross societal
dependencies, frank minimization of the number of such single points
of failure is a national security obligation.  Because cascade
failure ignited by random faults is quenched by redundancy, whereas
cascade failure ignited by sentient opponents is exacerbated by
redundancy, (preservation of) uncorrelated operational mechanisms
is likewise a national security obligation.

Analysis and Commentary

What's Up With McGahn Revisionism?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, January 27, 2018

“[T]he WH Counsel seems to be renting out space in his office to the New York Times,” notes Bill Kristol in reference to the sympathetic New York Times story yesterday about White House Counsel Don McGahn’s efforts to “Corral Trump While Pushing G.O.P.’s Agenda,” on top of the Times story the day before on McGahn threatening to quit rather than carry out Trump’s directive to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Analysis and Commentary

Power And Integrity At The FBI: Chris Wray Stands Up To The President And The Attorney General

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, January 22, 2018

Jonathan Swan of Axios reported Monday night, based on “three sources with direct knowledge,” that FBI Director Chris Wray “threatened to resign” if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe “was removed” from office. The threat apparently came in response to pressure on Wray by “Attorney General Jeff Sessions—at the public urging of President Donald Trump” to fire McCabe.

Analysis and Commentary

The Merits Of Supporting 702 Reauthorization (Despite Worries About Trump And The Rule Of Law)

by Jack Goldsmith, Susan Hennesseyvia Lawfare
Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Senate voted by a razor-thin margin Tuesday to invoke cloture on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would reauthorize for six years Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill includes some significant changes to 702, though the reforms are substantially more modest than those sought by privacy advocates. The House approved its version last week. A final Senate vote is scheduled for Thursday; the bill is expected to pass handily.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Hasn’t Rod Rosenstein Recused Himself From The Mueller Investigation?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, January 5, 2018

One puzzle that deepens with Mike Schmidt’s New York Times story on “Trump’s Struggle to Keep [a] Grip on [the] Russia Investigation” is why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. On Lawfare’s special edition podcast yesterday, Susan Hennessey briefly raised the issue, but the puzzle is worth unpacking a bit more here.

Analysis and Commentary

The President Can’t Kill The Mueller Investigation

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, January 1, 2018

One of most remarkable stories of 2017 was the extent to which President Donald Trump was prevented from executing his many pledges—both on the campaign trail and in office—to violate the law. As predicted, courts, the press, the bureaucracy, civil society, and even Congress were aggressive and successful in stopping or deterring Trump from acting unlawfully.*

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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.

Security by the Book: Max Boot's new book, "The Road Not Taken"

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosts "Security by the Book: Max Boot's new book, 'The Road Not Taken,'" on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Listening In: Cybersecurity In An Insecure Age

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age" on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
Featured

The Internationalists: How A Radical Plan To Outlaw War Remade The World

Monday, September 11, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World" on Monday, September 11, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event

Technology Giants, Sovereign Power, And Surveillance

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law hosts a conference on July 26, 2017 titled, Technology Giants, Sovereign Power, and Surveillance.

Event
In the News

Destined For War: Can America And China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, And Plutocrats Are Transforming The Marketplace Of Ideas

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas" on Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Oppose Any Foe: The Rise Of America's Special Operations Forces

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces" on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

Event
In the News

The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State" on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event

U.S-China Relations: Cyber and Technology

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law hosted a conference on March 14-15, 2017 titled, U.S.-China Relations: Cyber and Technology, which focused on the future of conflict and cooperation between China and the United States in the realm of cyber and technology. The goal of the event was to foster a rich and wide-ranging discussion geared toward producing practical ideas and recommendations of immediate usefulness for Washington policymakers and lawmakers.

Event
In the News

Cybersecurity In The Trump Administration: What Should We Expect?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Cybersecurity in the Trump Administration: What Should We Expect?" on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 11:00am - 3:00pm EST. 

Event

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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.