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Category Archives: Homeland Security

Court Demands New Procedures for Challenging No-Fly List Determinations

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Friday, June 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

As Wells noted a few days ago, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued an opinion this week in Latif v. Holder, which held unconstitutional certain redress procedures for individuals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s No-Fly List.  This post overviews the opinion. Judge Anna Brown begins with a recitation of the . . .
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Guest Post from Jeff Kahn on Latif v. Holder (Striking Down the No-Fly List)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Professor Jeff Kahn (SMU Law, also visiting at W&L Law) writes in with the following guest post on yesterday’s no-fly list decision.  Be sure to check out Jeff’s terrific book on the right to travel and terror watchlists (here). Judge Anna Brown in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued an important . . .
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Two Quite Important Rulings Today

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Coincidentally, they come to us from two different federal judges in the District of Oregon. The first decision concludes that remedial mechanisms associated with the so-called “No Fly” list violate due process;  the second rejects a defendant’s post-conviction effort to have an indictment thrown out—and, among other things, in doing so also rejects a constitutional attack on Section . . .
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Weekend Reading — the 2014 QHSR

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Friday, June 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Back in 2006 or so, we had a great idea — the Department of Homeland Security should do a quadrennial review, just as DOD does.  Thus was born the QHSR — the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.  The first such one was completed in 2010 and now, like clockwork, the second ever QHSR is out — . . .
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Tsarnaev and the Inspectors General: a Reply to Michael German

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 6:00 AM

In his response to my earlier Lawfare post on the FBI’s investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a later review of that investigation by various Inspectors General, Michael German misconceives my argument.  Put as concisely and clearly as possible, my argument has four points: 1. A formal tip from a nation that wants our cooperation should be taken . . .
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On Tsarnaev and the Inspectors General Review: a Response to Philip Heymann

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Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I was troubled by Philip Heymann’s Lawfare critique of the joint Inspectors General review of the government’s pre-Boston Marathon bombing investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. There is much to commend in Heymann’s thinking, as I note below. But, like the review itself, Heymann’s analysis nevertheless is flawed by his unexplained omission of crucial facts—not least Tsarnaev’s . . .
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DHS Unity of Effort

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Big news over at the Department of Homeland Security.  Now in its 11th year, the Department continues to be operationally disaggregated into its component parts, with little of the cross-cutting economies of scale and efficiencies of effort that were a promised result of its creation.  Prior Secretaries have tried to tame the process with limited . . .
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Heartbleed as Metaphor

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Monday, April 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I begin with a paragraph from Wikipedia: Self-organized criticality is one of a number of important discoveries made in statistical physics and related fields over the latter half of the 20th century, discoveries which relate particularly to the study of complexity in nature.  For example, the study of cellular automata, from the early discoveries of . . .
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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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Turning Off Transponders — Aviation Security and MH370

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM

In an earlier post regarding MH370, I wondered why it was that transponders on airplanes were still capable of being turned off.  I feel rather justified to realize that I’m not the only one asking the question.  Gregg Easterbrook has an op-ed in The New York Times in which he makes the same point and . . .
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Thinking about MH370

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Fools, they say, rush in where angels fear to tread.  Proving that I am less angelic than foolish (and confident that the blogosphere will quickly forget these musings), I thought I’d offer a few Homeland Security-related thoughts on lessons learned from MH370.   Of course this speculation can be utterly overtaken by events, but even at . . .
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EU To US: Let Us In Now!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM

There’s diplomacy and then there is chutzpah.  I have to think that the latest move by the European Union on the visa front is closer to the later than to the former.  The EU has demanded that, within six months, the US change its visa policy and admit the citizens of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus . . .
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Homeland Confusion — Reforming Congressional Oversight Of DHS

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Last September, the Annenberg Public Policy Center (in conjunction with the Aspen Institute) released a Task Force report on Streamlining and Consolidating Congressional Oversight of the US Department of Homeland Security.  The report made a powerful case for the proposition that Congress’s failure to reform its oversight of the Department created a significant risk of . . .
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Josh Gerstein on Piracy and Terrorism Trials

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Monday, February 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Over at Politico, Josh Gerstein has an interesting piece on the Ali piracy case, and its potential implications for terrorism cases.  The article—which quotes Jen Daskal and Cully Stimson, among others—opens: The failed prosecution of an alleged Somali pirate — and the fact that that failure could leave him living freely, and permanently, inside U.S. borders — . . .
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Another Key Ruling in the No-Fly List Case

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Friday, February 7, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Released today: this quite significant order, containing the district court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law in Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security—or the “No-Fly List Case” [h/t Wired]. We got something of a sneak peek last month, when Judge William Alsup handed down a summary version of his ruling.  (A trial was held in December.)  The summary suggested that . . .
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Air Wisconsin v. Hoeper

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Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The Supreme Court today decided Air Wisconsin v. Hoeper, a case that sounds like a tort matter but, in the end is about homeland security.  The facts of the case are relatively straight forward: Hoeper used to work for Air Wisconsin as a pilot.  He failed a simulator test (he says it was rigged — . . .
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A Game-Changing Ruling in the No-Fly List Case

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Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:37 PM

The most important judicial opinion to date concerning the U.S. Government’s terrorist watchlisting programs was issued on Tuesday, in the case of Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security, by Judge William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  But he handed down the ruling in a highly unusual fashion, one . . .
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Jeff Kahn on Terrorism Watchlists and the Ibrahim Trial

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Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The following guest post is from Professor Jeffrey Kahn of SMU Law.  Jeff is the author of Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists, a terrific book recently published by University of Michigan Press. The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) is responsible for compiling the U.S. Government’s Terrorist Screening Database, a sensitive . . .
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Brennan Center Report Slams Current State & Local CT Programs

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The Brennan Center for Justice released today a new report titled “National Security and Local Police.”  They conducted surveys of more than a dozen major police departments and their affiliated state or city intelligence “fusion centers” (funded heavily by federal grants) and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (FBI-led interagency and intergovernmental coordination groups for terrorism investigations).  . . .
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Senate Hearings on bitcoin

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Two hearings in one week on bitcoin. On Monday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on virtual currencies. Panel I Jennifer Shasky Calvery (Testimony) Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of the Treasury Mythili Raman (Testimony) Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice Edward W. Lowery III (Testimony) Special Agent . . .
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