The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast, Episode #66: A Conversation with Shane Harris

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 1:55 PM

Shane Harris was the first ever guest on the Lawfare Podcast, and today, he becomes the first ever return guest. The Foreign Policy writer has had a busy week covering the CIA-SSCI flap. And last night, he posted this story about NSA's efforts this week to get the FISA court to let it retain metadata past the five-year deadline for its destruction:

database of millions of Americans' phone records that has been at the center of a national debate on government spying is going to be around for a while---and getting bigger.

A judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the controversial phone records collection program run by the NSA,ruled earlier this week that the government can keep those records longer than five years after their initial collection, which is the point at which they were supposed to be destroyed. The reason is to preserve the records as potential evidence in any one of a half dozen civil lawsuits currently pending against the government, including those brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and a conservative public interest lawyer, whose plaintiffs have been arguing for months that the program is illegal and that the government shouldn't be collecting the phone records at all.

I asked Shane to come by the Brookings studio this week to talk about the voluminous news of the week in the national security law space. What's going on between the CIA and its legislative overseers? What's going on between the NSA and its judicial overseers? And, for that matter, what's going on with Shane and Chinese cooking---and from which Edward-Snowden-like character is he getting his recipes?