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Category Archives: Unfiled

North Korean Ambassador to the UN Talks at CFR

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

In case you need a macabre laugh. Transcript is available here if you can’t stand watching Jang Il Hun compare human rights in his country favorably to those in South Korea.

Defendants in United States v. Muhtorov Move to Compel Notice of Surveillance Techniques

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

As Orin Kerr has already noted on this site, the Department of Justice policy offers very little “notice” to criminal defendants of the surveillance techniques used to obtain evidence.  The defendants in United States v. Muhtorov, charged with providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, filed a motion Monday asking the District Court for the District . . .
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Audio of Last Week’s ODNI Conference at the University of Texas

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:56 AM

I am happy to report that we now have the audio from last week’s conference at the University of Texas exploring the lessons learned from the past ten years’ experience under the ODNI and NCTC.  The event was sponsored by UT’s Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, which I direct, as well as UT’s Clements . . .
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PRB Recommends Repatriation for One Saudi Detainee, Continued Detention for Another

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Yesterday the Periodic Review Board recommended the repatriation of Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani, a Saudi detainee who has been held in Guantanamo for 12 years after being captured in Afghanistan in 2002. The Board’s short statement concluded that given the “uncorroborated nature” of Zahrani’s association with Al Qaeda, his lack of ties to at-large extremists, and . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

According to Reuters, the United Kingdom has authorized “spy planes and armed drones to fly surveillance missions over Syria.” London’s statement that it would send Reaper drones and Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft to the embattled Middle Eastern country came soon after Turkey’s announcement on Monday that it would allow “Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow . . .
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Some Implications of President Obama’s Plans to Sidestep Congress on Iranian Sanctions

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM

David Sanger recently reported that the Executive branch thinks it can suspend “the vast majority” of congressional sanctions unilaterally if it reaches a deal with Iran to forestall that nation’s nuclear weapons program.  “President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on” the matter, Sanger tells us.  “We wouldn’t seek . . .
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Chertoff Ties Visa Waiver Program With Surveillance Tools

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Monday, October 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

In a recent speech at The Heritage Foundation, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff made the case for continuing the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). On the surface, his speech addressed only why the United States should keep and expand the program. But it did far more. Subtly yet forcefully, it made the case for . . .
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Ask Wells: #ComeyCrypto, Our Mysterious Publisher, and Cancelled Hearings

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Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I am stoked to post the first installment of Lawfare’s latest (and perhaps most peculiar) experimental feature: “Ask Wells.” The format, as Benjamin Wittes explained earlier, is straightforward.  Readers can write in and ask questions on most any topic—from national security law to the site’s content and editorial choices to whatever other things may be on . . .
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Another Way to Support Lawfare

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Yesterday, I posted an appeal for reader support—one that should make you feel all warm and fuzzy about donating to Lawfare: Here’s another way to support Lawfare, one that won’t cost you a dime: AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a program under which Amazon.com donates to non-profits whenever Amazon designates them as recipients. If you designate us, a small . . .
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Susan Landau on NSA Efforts to Secure Private Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Susan Landau has a new paper – entitled Under the Radar: NSA’s Efforts to Secure Private-Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure – up at the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.  From the abstract: Landau explains the National Security Agency’s little-known function of providing communications security (COMSEC) to private companies, which has involved an improvement of security . . .
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UT-Austin Conference on ODNI and NCTC at the 1-Decade Mark: “Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade: Are We Smarter and Safer?”

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Happening between now and Saturday: an important conference at the University of Texas at Austin (sponsored by UT’s Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, which I direct, as well as UT’s Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft (directed by Will Inboden) and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance). The conference is entitled “Intelligence Reform . . .
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FBI Director Comey’s Remarks as Delivered

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

You can find the text of FBI Directory James Comey’s remarks as delivered today at Brookings here or below. They begin: Good morning. It’s an honor to be here. I have been on the job as FBI Director for one year and one month. I like to express my tenure in terms of months, and I . . .
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Happening Now: FBI Director James Comey at Brookings

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

At 10:30 am, FBI Director James Comey will be at Brookings delivering a talk entitled, Going Dark: Are Technology, Privacy, and Public Safety on a Collision Course?  You can watch the livesteam below and join the conversation on Twitter using #ComeyCrypto. Here’s how Brookings is describing the event: Issues of privacy and security are at the . . .
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Obama Administration Explains Why It Thinks Islamic State Strikes Comply With War Powers Resolution

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Last week I explained that a likely major reason for the Obama administration’s switch from an Article II rationale for air strikes against the Islamic State to an AUMF rationale (2001 and 2002) was compliance with the War Power s Resolution (WPR).  Section 5(b) of the WPR requires the President to “terminate any use of . . .
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Obama’s Surprising War Powers Legacy

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM

We have an essay in The New Republic titled Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War.  It argues that President Obama, ironically in light of his own lofty rhetoric about lodging war decisions with “the people’s representatives” in Congress, has through his practices created new precedents that push outward the boundaries of unilateral . . .
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Government Files Response in Hatim v. Obama

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Today the government filed a short response to the detainees’ petition for an en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, the Guantanamo counsel-access case. Recall that last month the D.C. Circuit ordered the United States to respond to a joint motion filed by Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif. The detainees are seeking review of a . . .
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CDT Event this Evening on “Databuse”

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

This will be an interesting event this evening. The Center for Democracy and Technology is holding a discussion of a paper Wells and I recently published entitled, “Databuse and a Trusteeship Model of Consumer Protection in the Big Data Era.” CDT is describing the event as follows: Please join the Center for Democracy & Technology . . .
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Ask Wells

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 2:18 PM

The name of this New York Times feature makes me think Lawfare should have a Q&A/Advice/Ombudsman/Ask-Me-Anything type column and that it really should be written by our managing editor, Wells Bennett. We’re going to call it: “Ask Wells.” Got a pressing national security law question? Ask Wells. Got a complaint about Lawfare? Ask Wells. Need relationship or professional . . .
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Why Glenn Greenwald’s Challenge is Asking the Wrong Question

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Over at Vox an admiring article appears on a challenge that Glenn Greenwald is giving to people who think they have nothing to hide: The most common defense for the massive expansion of government surveillance programs since 2001 is that they only negatively affect people who have something to hide. In a recent TED Talk, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist . . .
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On the Latest Intercept Story

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Monday, October 13, 2014 at 10:03 PM

You may not have read much about the latest big scoop in The Intercept, released Friday evening under the bylines of Peter Maass and Laura Poitras and headlined “Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany.” There have not been a lot of media organizations following the story. This might be due to the infelicitous timing of . . .
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