Trump political appointee Michael Ellis has been named to an important career position. Congress should investigate the suspicious circumstances of the selection, and the Biden transition should think carefully about what to do on Jan. 20.
Latest in NSA
On Monday, Feb. 24, the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation that would amend and reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
The Justice Department has filed a civil complaint against Edward Snowden alleging that he violated non-disclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA by both giving interviews he and failing to submit his new book for pre-publication review. The government is also suing the publisher of Snowden’s book to ensure that no profits from book sales are transferred to Snowden before the suit is resolved. The complaint can be read here and below.
In July 2017, Privacy International and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic (MFIA) filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the State Department, and the National Archives and Records Administration seeking access to records related to the Five Eyes alliance under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Senate intelligence committee is holding a hearing Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone to be director of the National Security Agency (Prepared Testimony). Watch the hearing live:
The next National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA FY’18) is nearing the finish line. A Conference Report is now available, and so the time has come for a closer look at some of the key provisions of interest to Lawfare readers. My colleague Scott Anderson is going to post a broad overview shortly. For my part, I’d like to walk you through the “Cyberspace-Related Matters” section (sections 1631-1649C).
Friday morning, the White House announced it will elevate Cyber Command to a full unified combatant command. Within 60 days, the Secretary of Defense will recommend whether Cyber Command should also be split from the National Security Agency.
The Government Accountability Office last week published a report that, among other things, weighs in on the pros and cons of the NSA/CYBERCOM “dual-hat” system (pursuant to which the director of the NSA/CSS and commander of CYBERCOM are the same person). The report deserves attention but also some criticism and context. Here’s a bit of all three.
1. What is the “dual-hat” issue?
In light of Michael Sulmeyer’s excellent recent piece on splitting NSA and CYBERCOM, which ran at War on the Rocks last week, I want to pull together some of the key legal and policy developments of the past year in a single narrative. My aim is to put them in context with each other in a way that will provide useful background for those new to this issue, while also putting a spotlight on the deconfliction-of-equities issue that the split proposal raises.