Andy Wang

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Moral Obtuseness, Guantanamo, Boko Haram, and the Media

This morning's BBC’s NewsHour show opened with a news judgment reflecting a genuinely odd moral calculus.

At the end of the show’s headlines section, announcer James Menendez says: “coming up later in the program today, our West Africa correspondent . . . is on the shores of Lake Chad, where survivors---many of them missing family members---have been gathering in the wake of last week’s deadly attacks by Boko Haram.” That, however, could wait until the second half of the show.

Internet Metadata Collection

The NRC's Bulk Collection Report: a High-Level Overview

Last week, Wells noted the release of an important, 85-page report by the National Research Council. (Yesterday, Herb Lin added his thoughts about it.) Broadly, Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options concludes that right now, there are no software-based techniques that could fully replace the bulk collection of data.

Cybersecurity: LOAC-Military

The FBI Impersonates the Media: Some of the Rules Governing Cyber-Subterfuge

The developing story of the FBI’s impersonation of journalists is, in a way, really the story of Timberline high school in Washington State. In June of 2007 Timberline had received a series of bomb threats, prompting a week of evacuations. The FBI and local law enforcement traced the problem to an anonymous account on the MySpace social media site. But the trail seemed to stop there, as investigators were unable to ascertain the identity of the person or persons behind the account.

So the feds resorted to subterfuge.


NSA Report on Civil Liberties and Privacy Protections under EO 12333

In January 2014, the NSA’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO) was created. The CLPO was tasked with ensuring that civil liberties and privacy protection considerations are integrated into the NSA’s mission activities. Yesterday—and importantly, given the disclosures about NSA surveillance, and subsequent developments—the CLPO released its Report on Civil Liberties and Privacy Protections for Targeted SIGINT Activities under Executive Order 12333.

Terrorism Investigations: Domestic

Will the Supreme Court Take Up Mehanna?

Does translating “radical” Arab texts and videos amount to material support for terrorism? That is the question that would face the Supreme Court, should they decide to take up Mehanna v. United States. (For full background and facts on the case, see our extensive prior coverage here.)

The basic facts of Mehanna are simple.