These past two weeks saw a flurry of activity regarding Russian attempts to influence the presidential election. In the days before the new year, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia in response to election interference. On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee convened a hearing with DNI James Clapper, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre, and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers. On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified version of the intelligence community’s report on Russian election interference.
Benjamin Wittes considered what the SASC hearing portends for the future of the Trump administration and lauded Senator Lindsey Graham’s performance, and Herb Lin asked what would constitute an appropriate response to Russia’s efforts. The gang also discussed Trump’s resistance to the intelligence community’s conclusions on Kremlin meddling on Rational Security, the “New Year/New Tweets” Edition:
Election interference was also a major topic on this week’s Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast...
...and on the last Lawfare Podcast of 2016:
As the presidential transition continues, Quinta Jurecic notified us that Trump appears set to select former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as his Director of National Intelligence. Jane Chong rounded up exit memos released by 27 Obama administration agency and department heads. And Paul Rosenzweig flagged a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies setting forth a cybersecurity agenda for the next administration.
Paul also noted the release of China’s new National Cybersecurity Strategy. Also writing on cyber matters, Michael J. Adams offered a word of caution on the imminent release of the Tallinn Manual 2.0.
In the Cybercrime Roundup, Sarah Tate Chambers updated us on major cybercrime prosecutions.
Danielle Citron and Benjamin Wittes suggested a system of “follow buddies and block buddies” to improve civility and privacy on Twitter.
Ariel Teshuva asked why the EU has made so few adequacy determinations on privacy protections.
On December 23rd, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements with the United States abstaining. Elena Chachko reviewed what the resolution says and what it means, and Orde Kittrie also weighed in.
Returning from a trip to Israel and the West Bank, Paul offered his thoughts on the ongoing conflict. Joel Braunold and Sarah Yerkes asked whether a peace deal is possible if Israelis and Palestinians just don’t trust each other.
J. Dana Stuster suggested things to watch in the Middle East in 2017 and provided us with the Middle East Ticker. Bruce Reidel noted Oman’s improving relations with Saudi Arabia, and Kemal Kirişci considered what the New Year’s attack on an Istanbul nightclub means for Turkey.
Dan Byman cautioned the Trump administration against its use of the vague and overbroad term “radical Islam.”
Ben noted Judge Royce Lamberth’s order to have a copy of the Senate intelligence Committee’s torture report preserved with the D.C. Circuit in Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri’s habeas case. Quinta provided Nashiri’s original motion to have the report preserved, along with the government’s response and Nashiri’s reply.
Ingrid Wuerth noted an interesting amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act regarding art museums.
Steve Slick brought our attention to a postdoctoral fellowship opportunity in the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas-Austin.
And Ben and Jack Goldsmith invited us to this coming Monday’s Hoover Book Soiree, featuring an interview with Jameel Jaffer on his book The Drone Memos: Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law.
Over the holidays, Susan Hennessey and Quinta reviewed Lawfare’s 2016, rounding up our coverage of the South China Sea, the presidential transition, and Section 702 and “going dark,” and finishing with a roundup of all of Lawfare’s regular features.
And that was the fortnight that was.