The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast: John Carlin Uses All the Tools

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 1:56 PM

John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, has a new law review article out in the Harvard National Security Journal, entitled: "Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats." In it, he argues that:

the U.S. government has changed its approach to disrupting national security cyber threats. One element of its new strategy involves implementing and institutionalizing a “whole-of-government” approach. No one agency can beat the threat. Instead, success requires drawing upon each agency’s unique expertise, resources, and legal authorities, and using whichever tool or combination of tools will be most effective in disrupting a particular threat. At times, that may mean economic sanctions from the Treasury Department, proceedings initiated by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and cyber defense operations from the Defense Department. At other times, it might mean information sharing coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security, diplomatic pressure from the State Department, intelligence operations from the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), and prosecution and other legal action from the Justice Department. And in many instances, it will mean a coordinated application of several capabilities from the U.S. government’s menu of options.

These actions are starting to have real effects, he contends. This week, Carlin and I sat down to discuss the article, the changes in U.S. national security cyber approaches, and the effects they have had:

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