National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Comey On Ethical Leadership

by Jack Goldsmith
Monday, April 30, 2018

“I am reluctant to write a memoir and would rather write about leadership,” my friend Jim Comey told me in an email on June 16, 2017, about five weeks after Donald Trump fired him as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Comey was starting to focus on writing a book, and we were discussing literary agents, book-writing techniques, and the like.

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A Helsinki Conference for Asia

by Philip Bobbittvia Aegis Paper Series
Thursday, April 26, 2018

This paper proposes a comprehensive set of agreements to resolve the current crisis over North Korean nuclear capabilities. This settlement envisages a peace conference that would end the Korean War, recognize current borders as inviolate, and accord current regimes international recognition by all parties. This agreement depends upon China offering North Korea a guarantee of extended deterrence against the United States or its allies in exchange for North Korean denuclearization under stringent UN inspections.

Analysis and Commentary

Bad Legal Arguments For The Syria Airstrikes

by Jack Goldsmith, Oona A. Hathawayvia Lawfare
Saturday, April 14, 2018

On Friday night, the United States, United Kingdom, and France launched a coordinated attack in Syria, reportedly aimed at sites related to Syria’s chemical weapons program. President Trump stated that he “ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Cycles Of Panicked Reactions To Trump

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The raid on the office of Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, the president’s latest tweet-complaints and related rant, and the White House press secretary's claim that the President believes he has the authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, have many people spun up about that possibility that Trump will soon fire Mueller, or Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Featured

The Downsides Of Bombing Syria

by Jack Goldsmith, Oona A. Hathawayvia Lawfare
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The U.S. government seems on a set path toward intervening in Syria with military force (probably air strikes of some sort) in response to the recent a chemical weapons attack allegedly sponsored by the Syrian government. We think a few brief points are worth keeping in mind.

Analysis and Commentary

Can Mueller Or Rosenstein Issue An Interim Report On Obstruction?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, April 9, 2018

Unnamed sources in a Washington Post story last week claimed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller told President Trump’s lawyers that “he is preparing a report about the president’s actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice.” The Post added that “Mueller’s investigators have indicated to the president’s legal team that they are considering writing reports on their findings in stages—with the first report focused on the obstruction issue.”

Featured

We Need Special Court Procedure For The Removal Of Special Counsels

by Adam J. White quoting Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, March 26, 2018

As President Trump intensifies his attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, his critics intensify their calls on Congress to legislate statutory removal protections limiting the president’s and Justice Department’s ability to fire Mueller. Such a legislative push is probably futile—and rightly so. Instead, Congress should focus on another aspect of this issue: namely, legislating the process by which the courts would hear a lawsuit challenging the firing of a special counsel. 

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Expect A Starr-Like Report From Mueller

by Jack Goldsmith, Maddie McMahonvia Lawfare
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic have usefully reviewed the models that Special Counsel Robert Mueller might draw on deciding whether and how to tell the world what he learned in his investigation of the Russia matter. If Mueller follows the “orthodox path,” we will only “learn about the extent of ‘collusion’ or about possible obstructions of justice” to the extent Mueller issues indictments. 

Featured

Living Inside Adversary Networks

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, March 16, 2018

The Trump administration on Thursday accused Russia of infiltrating by digital means “energy and other critical infrastructure sectors” in the United States. “We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,” Eric Chien, a security-technology director at Symantec, said to Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger in the New York Times. 

Analysis and Commentary

‘Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism In America’

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, March 5, 2018

Tuesday is the release date for an extraordinary collection of essays published under the title: Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America.

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