National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Trump’s Self-Defeating Executive Order On Interrogation

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Below are some very quick initial thoughts on President’s Trump’s Executive Order on Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants.

Hoover Book Soiree: Edward Jay Epstein On "How America Lost Its Secrets"

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittes
Monday, January 23, 2017

The next in our series of book soirees at the Hoover Institution will take place from 5-7 pm on Monday, February 1, when Ben will interview Edward Jay Epstein on his new book, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Is The White House Characterizing The Political Opinions Of Career CIA Employees?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Focusing on what's truly important in the many challenges facing America, President Trump got right to work picking a fight with reality over the size of the crowd at his inauguration. And yesterday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer kicked up a firestorm by berating the media for its reporting on inauguration attendance.


Jack Goldsmith: Checks On Presidential Power Are Stronger Than You Think

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia The Cipher Brief
Friday, January 20, 2017

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses how much authority resides in the presidency and how checks and balances on presidential power have changed in the past 15 years.

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.


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?


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 is the chair of the National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group.