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Posts by Lauren Bateman

Lauren Bateman is a student at Harvard Law School, where she is an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She previously worked as a National Security Legislative Correspondent for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and she takes a special interest in legislative procedure. She also interned for the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada, and was a Research Fellow for the Project on National Security Reform. She graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in History and Government from The College of William & Mary in 2009.

Foreign Purchases of U.S. Businesses, Presidential Power, and National Security: Ralls Corp. v. CFIUS

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Friday, April 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM

When then-Representative Barney Frank contemplated the ability of foreign interests to acquire American companies at the expense of national security, he made the following statement: There is no right to buy.  You do not have to file [with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), but by not filing, you do not immunize . . .
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On The Recent FISC Preservation Rulings

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM

When last we checked in on the metadata preservation saga, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had authorized the government—in contravention of its prior order—to retain metadata beyond the FISA-imposed five year limit in order to account for evidence preservation issues being litigated by civil plaintiffs in suits against the NSA in the Northern District of California.  On . . .
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New FISC Order On Retention of Metadata

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 9:11 PM

On Monday, we reported on the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of California, which prohibited the government from destroying telephone metadata collected by the NSA, pursuant to Section 215 of the Patriot Act.  The idea was to preserve the metadata, as evidence for potential use in pending civil . . .
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District Court in California Contradicts FISC, Orders Government to Preserve Metadata

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Monday, March 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Earlier today, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the government from destroying call record metadata in the 215 program.  “It is undisputed,” he wrote, “that the Court would be unable to afford effective relief once the records are destroyed, and therefore the harm to Plaintiffs . . .
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FISC Rejects Government’s Request to Retain Metadata Beyond Five Years

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

FISC Presiding Judge Reggie B. Walton yesterday rejected the government’s request to retain telephony metadata beyond five years. On January 3, 2014, the FISC approved the government’s request to collect telephony metadata from certain telecommunications carriers.  That order adopted the government’s suggested minimization procedures, including the standard requirement that all metadata collected under the order be destroyed within . . .
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The Crimean Crisis: Commentary on International Law Ramifications

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Monday, March 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

As a service to Lawfare readers, we have compiled some other web commentary on the legal aspects of the crisis in Crimea.  (Of course, interested folks should have a look at Ashley’s thorough articulation of the international law issues at play, and Paul’s take on the invasion’s cyber dimension.) While the situation percolated over the weekend, Eric Posner noted the (somewhat surprising) . . .
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Statutory Authority, Military Installations and Protests: Today’s Supreme Court Ruling in United States v. Apel

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Federal law criminalizes the reentry of a “military . . . installation” after having been ordered not to do so by “any officer or person in command.”  18 U.S.C. § 1382.  But does that criminal prohibition apply to areas specifically designated by the military as civilian “protest areas”? Today, in United States v. Apel, the Supreme Court . . .
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Judge Pauley’s Section 215 Opinion: A Summary

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Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

As Raffaela reported, on Friday Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York held that bulk telephony metadata collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is lawful, and therefore granted the government’s motion to dismiss in ACLU v. Clapper.  (For additional analysis, please see Ben and Peter‘s posts.) BACKGROUND The opinion begins with a background on . . .
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The November NSA Trove V: Congressional Stuff

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Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Our little November NSA Trove-a-thon will shift gears now.  Having covered judicial materials—court filings, opinions, and similar items regarding NSA’s bulk collection of telephony and internet metadata—we’ll move to congressional oversight of those same subjects. So far as this post goes, that will mean time-traveling back to two historical documents: first, 2005 congressional testimony by . . .
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The November NSA Trove IV: The Internet Metadata Collection Story Develops

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Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Your latest dispatch from the November NSA Trove: a trio of judicial opinions on internet metadata acquired, in bulk, by means of pen register and trap-and-trace (“PR/TT”) devices.  (Recall that, in 2004, the FISC initially approved this, in an opinion by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.) The  rulings are apparently divided by considerable time, with the first . . .
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Government Files Brief in D.C. Circuit Gitmo Detainee Civil Case

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM

The government has filed its brief in Al Laithi v. Rumsfeld and Celikgogus v. Rumsfeld, a case involving the consolidated claims of former Guantanamo detainees against former government officials in their individual capacities. The detainees seek civil damages, alleging that their detentions had violated international law, the Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Holding that these types of . . .
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Supreme Court Denies EPIC Mandamus Petition

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM

The Supreme Court today denied the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s request for mandamus review of telephony metadata collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The denial order has neither dissent nor further explication. Josh Gerstein’s article in Politico provides good background on the case; for more information, see our previous post on this issue as well . . .
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CIA Files Reply Memo in Drone FOIA Case

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Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

The CIA’s efforts to deny the ACLU’s FOIA requests for records about the Agency’s involvement in drone-based targeted killings continue apace in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Agency filed a reply memorandum in favor of summary judgment  on the matter in D.D.C. on November 1. Lawfare readers may recall the March . . .
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The Latest NSA Documents: A Summary

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The latest cache of documents released by the DNI does not contain any explosive new revelations. Unlike previous releases, it does not show big problems under either Section 215 or Section 702 that produced FISC litigations over months to resolve. They are, to put it mildly, pretty weedy. That said, there is important information in . . .
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The Solicitor General Responds to an EPIC Mandamus Effort

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Having gained no purchase in federal district courts in countering NSA’s telephony metadata program, privacy activists are attempting a different strategy: taking the fight directly to the United States Supreme Court. Back in July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a mandamus-or-certiorari petition with the high court, seeking review of the controversial April 2013 order by . . .
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Oral Argument Preview: Aamer v. Obama

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., D.C. Circuit Judges David S. Tatel and Thomas B. Griffith, and Senior Judge Stephen F. Williams will hear oral arguments in Aamer v. Obama, one of three consolidated appeals concerning the force-feeding of Guantanamo detainees. A Guantanamo Joint Task Force protocol—the policy at the heart of the detainees’ hunger strike and the . . .
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D.C. District Court Orders Expanded CIA FOIA Disclosures

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Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

A little-noticed district court opinion has expanded—at least at the margins—the universe of national security materials subject to FOIA requests. We missed this opinion when it came out back in August, and noticed it only when Steve Aftergood at Secrecy News flagged it on September 23. Apologies for our tardiness. It’s actually an important decision. Plaintiff National Security . . .
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How the United States Narrowly Avoided “Nuclear Mishap”

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Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 8:06 AM

A historic marker titled “Nuclear Mishap” welcomes visitors to Eureka, North Carolina, population 200. The text reads: “B-52 transporting two nuclear bombs crashed. Jan. 1961. Widespread disaster averted; three crewmen died 3 mi. S.” “Widespread disaster” is, if anything, an understated description of the event to which the sign refers: the accidental detonation of nuclear . . .
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The Latest NSA Documents II: The Crap Hits the Fan

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM

The story starts in May 2006, when the FISA Court granted the FBI’s application for telecommunications companies to turn over certain “tangible things” to the NSA under Section 215. The “tangible things,” in this case, consisted of the much-ballyhooed telephony metadata—the time and duration of each telephone call, the originating and terminating telephone numbers, and . . .
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Resources on Conflict in Syria from CRS

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Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Steven Aftergood from Secrecy News has helpfully posted new and updated Congressional Research Service reports on the conflict in Syria: Possible U.S. Intervention in Syria: Issues for Congress, September 3, 2013 Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response, September 4, 2013 Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress, August 30, 2013