National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

An Out Of The Box Approach To The Going Dark Problem

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I’ve been thinking about out-of-the-box ways to address the "Going Dark" problem. Specifically, I am looking for approaches that potentially thread the needle between an industry allergic to any technological mandates, civil libertarians and cryptographers deeply committed to strong encryption without back doors, and a government alarmed by the rise of encrypted communications it cannot capture.

Analysis and Commentary

Marco Rubio's Guantanamo Fantasy

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, February 1, 2016

"And yes, when I am President of the United States, if there is some place in this country where radical jihadists are planning to attack the United States, we will go after them wherever they are, and if we capture them alive, they are going to Guantanamo."

Analysis and Commentary

The Future Of Violence Is Now: "Hostile Use Of Drones"

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This is interesting for folks interested in The Future of Violence—a new report on "Hostile Drones: The Hostile Use of Drones By Non-State Actors Against British Targets."

Analysis and Commentary

Did Congress Immunize Twitter Against Lawsuits For Supporting ISIS?

by Benjamin Wittes, Zoe Bedellvia Lawfare
Friday, January 22, 2016

Back in July, we wrote a lengthy piece about whether Apple could conceivably face civil liability for providing end-to-end encryption to criminals and terrorists. Last week, we wrote about a lawsuit against Twitter that is based on substantially the same legal theory we had outlined in the earlier post.

Analysis and Commentary

How To Get Congress And Obama To Agree On Closing Guantanamo

by Steve Vladeck , Benjamin Wittesvia Washington Post
Thursday, January 21, 2016

This month marks both the 14th anniversary of the opening of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the seventh anniversary of President Obama’s commitment to close it within a year.


by Jack Goldsmith
Thursday, January 14, 2016

“I will keep working to shut down the prison at Guantanamo: it’s expensive, it’s unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies,” said President Obama in his final State of the Union address. A few days earlier, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough seemed put down a marker about Guantanamo. 

Analysis and Commentary

Feckless OPM

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I expected to hear from OPM after the data breach because it directed at least two of my background checks for security clearances while I was in government. Many acquaintances received notices.

Analysis and Commentary

Estonian Digital Residency Update II

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

In reference to my application for digital residency in Estonia, I received the following email last week.

Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security: The "We're Golden" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, January 8, 2016

The Rational Security gang starts the year with our 50th episode. Kim Jong-un says North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. The Russians may have caused a blackout in Ukraine with a cyber attack.

Analysis and Commentary

Be Careful What You Wish For: Device Hacking And The Law

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I’ve been thinking about lawful device hacking of late—that is, government hacking of devices as a way around the “going dark” problem. 


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.