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Category Archives: Technology

New Tech and National Security Law — 3D Printing Redux

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Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Just as Ben seems taken with Drone technology, I’ve become a fan of 3D Printing (otherwise known as Additive Manufacturing) and its national security implications.    And it’s becoming a bit of a “thing” here in Washington DC as the 2nd Annual Additive Manufacturing for Government conference later this year will attest.  But the real attraction . . .
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Government Files Reply in Klayman v. Obama, ACLU Moves to Participate in Oral Argument

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 9:20 AM

On Friday the government filed its response and reply brief in Klayman v. Obama, (1) arguing that the Judge Richard Leon erred in granting plaintiff-appellee-cross-appellants a preliminary injunction against Section 215 bulk telephony-metadata collection and (2) countering Klayman et al.’s cross-appeal for additional preliminary injunctive relief against government programs that involve “internet data surveillance activity.” Most of . . .
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The FBI’s Facial Recognition Program

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Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Earlier this week, the FBI announced the completion of its “next generation” facial recognition program.  The system, now “fully operational” will house more than 52 million faces, which (assuming no duplication) is roughly 1 in 6 Americans.  The system is said to be only moderately effective — it will typically return 50 possible matches for . . .
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Readings: Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 12:08 AM

We are pleased to share our recently published article on law and autonomous weapons, on which we teamed up with our good friend Daniel Reisner (formerly head of the Israel Defense Forces International Law Department). The article, “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems,” appears as 90 International Law Studies 386 (2014), . . .
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Cyborgs! Law and Policy Implications

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Friday, September 5, 2014 at 10:27 AM

And now for something completely different: Cyborgs. No, this is not a joke. For years, certain technology enthusiasts have floated variations on the question of whether we are becoming cyborgs—or already are cyborgs. In our newly released paper, titled “Our Cyborg Future: Law and Policy Implications,” we take a different, more legal angle. The law remains embryonic on . . .
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Readings: Geoffrey Corn on Autonomous Weapons

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Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I’m pleased to note that Lawfare’s good friend Geoff Corn has entered into the public discussion of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) with a new paper posted to SSRN, “Autonomous Weapon Systems: Legal Consequences of ‘Taking the Man Out of the Loop’.”  The paper is a relatively rough working draft, but it raises a number of . . .
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Readings: Laurie Blank on Proportionality in Jus in Bello in Israel-Hamas Conflict, a Primer

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Laurie Blank (Emory University Law School professor, director of its law of armed conflict clinic and, of course, well known to many Lawfare readers as a prominent scholar of LOAC) has an opinion column up at TheHill.com–a primer on the meaning of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities in the law of armed conflict, what it . . .
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What The Court Didn’t Say in Riley May be the Most Important Thing of All

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Monday, June 30, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Riley v. California that searching a cell phone requires a warrant is groundbreaking—and is, as everyone says, a great step forward for privacy. The decision is notable for what it does say, including: The United States asserts that a search of all data stored on a cell phone is “materially indistinguishable” . . .
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Report of the Stimson Center Task Force on Drone Policy

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The Stimson Center released today the report of its Task Force on US Drone Policy.  The ten-member task force, of which I was a member, was chaired by General John Abizaid and Rosa Brooks.   The report makes eight recommendations for overhauling US drone strategy; improving oversight, accountability, transparency and clarifying the international legal framework applicable . . .
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Readings: The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints by Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Political science graduate students Andrea Gilli (European Union Institute, Florence) and Mauro Gilli (Northwestern University, Evanston) have posted a new and provocative paper to SSRN–“The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints.” I read this paper when first posted to SSRN some weeks back, but I waited to discuss it in a Readings post . . .
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Commentary on Bond

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Curt Bradley’s thoughts are at AJIL Unbound, the Volokh Conspiracy has commentary by Nick Rosenkranz and Ilya Somin, and Jean Galbraith and Peter Spiro weigh in at Opinio Juris.

Bits and Bytes

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Two interesting items today: Shane Harris has a look inside the FBI’s efforts to track the Chinese hackers.  Here’s the intro: “SolarWorld was fighting a losing battle. The U.S. subsidiary of the German solar panel manufacturer knew that its Chinese competitors, backed by generous government subsidies, were flooding the American market with steeply discounted solar . . .
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The Intelligence Legitimacy Paradox

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Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I have spent the day, which is not over yet in Palo Alto, at a conference at the Hoover Institution on “Intelligence Challenges.” The rules of the workshop, unfortunately, prohibit me from disclosing who is saying what—or even naming the individuals who are present, though the participants include significant intelligence community figures, civil libertarians, legislative leaders, . . .
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Drone Almost Collides With Commercial Airliner

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Monday, May 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

So reports the BBC. The incident apparently happened back in March: A drone almost collided with a US commercial flight in March, an official with America’s flight regulatory agency has revealed. Jim Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unmanned aircraft systems office said it showed the risks posed by such aircraft. The near collision . . .
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John Villasenor on Driverless Cars and Liability

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Monday, May 5, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Wells and I and our Brookings colleague John Villasenor have begun a paper series of civilian robotics. Some of it is a little beyond normal Lawfare fare, but some of it will be in the heartland. The first paper in the series, which we released recently, is by John and deals with driverless cars and liability rules for car . . .
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White House Big Data Report

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 2:37 PM

It’s out. Haven’t read it yet.

3D Printing on the High Seas

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I knew this was coming.  Just not this soon.  The Navy is sending a 3D printer to sea.  It’s a small step: “The crew has been making everything from disposable medical supplies (think plastic syringes), to a new cap they designed for an oil tank, to model planes to move around their mock-up of the . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: April 17 Session

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

There’s a small band of us here at Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall—the venue where we’ll take in, via slightly-delayed, Closed Circuit Television, more of a pre-trial motions session in the 9/11 military commission case. It’s been an odd little week at Guantanamo.  To recap, the defense has claimed that the FBI, while investigating the leak . . .
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Metadata, Cellphone Geolocation Tracking, and Innocence

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:49 AM

In the current discussions of NSA surveillance, we often talk as though metadata and cell phone tracking are simple creatures of government power. It is government, after all, that collects bulk metadata. And it is government that runs the surveillance programs that scare us most. But it is worth remembering that actual use of this . . .
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WeRobot2014 Conference Underway at University of Miami

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Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

The annual WeRobot program has emerged as the key conference on the legal, policy, moral, and other normative questions related to robotics. It is underway at this moment at the University of Miami, hosted by the law school and organized by law professor Michael Froomkin, who is one of the leaders of the field. The . . .
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