The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #35: Mark Plotkin of Covington & Burling on Private Sector National Security Law

By Raffaela Wakeman
Sunday, July 7, 2013, 10:00 AM

Several recent high-profile news items have shone a spotlight on the relationship between the government and private industry in national security matters, an area not frequently discussed in the media. A few recent examples include Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders that technology firms like Google and Facebook turn over their users' data to the National Security Agency for intelligence collection, an investigation into the government contractor who performed Edward Snowden's background check, and the proposed acquisition by Chinese company Shuanghui International of American pork producer Smithfield Foods.

To delve deeper into the delicate and complicated processes that private sector actors are subjected to when their business comes into contact with national security concerns, I sat down with Mark Plotkin, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling.  We discussed his rather unusual practice as a national security lawyer, which includes representing clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and handling matters related to data privacy, the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering, and compliance.