Amy Zegart

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Amy Zegart is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. She is also a professor of political science by courtesy, past co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies, and national security. Her forthcoming book, Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence, will be published by Princeton University Press in October 2021. She received an AB in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and a PhD in political science from Stanford University.

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Lessons from Fort Hood and Asking the Right Questions in Orlando

It is still the early days following the events of Orlando. It is possible that, as facts emerge, it will be clear that there was nothing more the FBI could have done to prevent the attack. However, there are lessons to be learned on from the 2009 attack in Fort Hood regarding which questions we should be asking. I have a forthcoming chapter in a book on insider threats (edited by Scott Sagan and Matt Bunn, Cornell Univ. Press) which examines where the FBI went wrong in preventing the Fort Hood attack and why.

Cyber & Technology

Policymakers are from Mars, Tech Company Engineers are from Venus

This week, Herb Lin and I are giving a joint talk about the suit-hoodie divide, and whether relations between Washington and Silicon Valley are getting worse (I think the answer is yes). Part of the problem stems from conflicting interests and serious differences of opinion about policy. But a large part of the problem—and perhaps the hardest and most hidden part—stems from cultural differences. I don't want to overstate here. Culture is squishy. It's hard to see, hard to measure, hard to articulate, hard to change.
Going Dark

The Security Debate We Need to Have

The escalating war of words between Apple and the FBI is widely seen as a “security vs. privacy” dilemma. But it’s much more than that. This is also fundamentally a security vs. security dilemma. Lost in this conversation is a more serious discussion of what we as a society value more: our security interests in maximizing the prospects of successful law enforcement investigations (including investigations of terrorist attacks) or our security interests in maximizing U.S. power on the world stage by ensuring the American tech industry continues to thrive.

Interrogation: CIA Program

SSCI Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program: A Flawed Report

Who won the torture debate -- the CIA or Senate Intelligence Committee Report? Were waterboarding, rectal hydration, stress positions, and other techniques used against detainees effective? Legal? Ethical? In a forthcoming special issue of the journal Intelligence and National Security, a range of academics and one former CIA lawyer weigh in.