On May 19, the Department of Justice announced a new policy concerning how it will charge cases under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, the primary statute used against those who engage in unlawful computer intrusions. Over the years, the statute has been criticized because it has been difficult to determine the kinds of conduct it criminalizes, which has led to a number of problems, including the chilling of security research.
Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier, and has been a freelance editor for 15 years. Jen has her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia.
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An interesting subplot of the Russian invasion and subsequent war in Ukraine has been the rush of fighters from other countries to join the Ukrainian foreign legion and to fight as legionnaires on behalf of the Ukrainian government. The phenomenon of legionnaires is an interesting one that crops up all throughout history yet has remained relatively understudied. What role do legionnaires play in conflicts? How does their impact differ from that of typical soldiers? How can we distinguish them from contractors or mercenaries or other categories of fighters?
It was Day Five of the House select committee hearings on Jan. 6. This time, the committee was focused on the president's efforts to pressure, and one may even say decapitate, the Justice Department to get it to put pressure on states on voter fraud matters and overturn the results of the 2020 election. In front of the committee were senior Justice Department officials who threatened to resign if an obscure environmental lawyer was made acting attorney general.
If you’ve been watching the hearings convened by the House select committee on Jan. 6, you’ve seen a great deal about how the Trump campaign generated and spread falsehoods about supposed election fraud in 2020. As the committee has argued, those falsehoods were crucial in generating the political energy that culminated in the explosion of the January 6 insurrection.
This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott flew solo to discuss the week's big national security news, including:
Tuesday was day four of the Jan. 6 committee hearings, this time on Donald Trump's efforts to coax, cajole, and threaten state election officials and legislators into overturning their state election results in 2020. To go over it all, Benjamin Wittes sat down in Twitter Spaces with Lawfare senior editors Roger Parloff, Quinta Jurecic, and Molly Reynolds. They talked about where this story fits in with the larger narrative the committee is trying to spin, about what is working and what is not working in the committee's presentation, and they took live questions from the audience.
Asfandyar Mir of the U.S. Institute of Peace and Daniel Byman of Lawfare, Brookings, and Georgetown, are both analysts of al-Qaeda and terrorist groups. They have a different analysis, however, of how al-Qaeda is faring in the current world. Rather than argue about the subject on Twitter, they wrote an article on it, spelling out where they agree and where they disagree, and they joined Benjamin Wittes to talk it all through. Where is al-Qaeda strong and resilient?