Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Friday, August 9, 2013, 12:42 PM

Today the New York Times editorializes on the latest details of NSA surveillance programs unearthed by Charlie Savage in the paper. And the NSA touts one particular success story connected to information collected through its surveillance tools; Ellen Nakashima writes on that over at the Washington Post.

Paging JackThe Economist's print edition wonders along with you about the disconnect between the Obama administration's assertion that Al Qaeda is on the decline, while simultaneously issuing global threat alerts and shutting down diplomatic posts around the Muslim world in response to Al Qaeda chatter.

Linda Greenhouse's New York Times column this week focuses on the Chief Justice's appointment power---she discusses the many Article III positions that the Chief is responsible for filling, including seats on the FISC and the ominously-named-but-never-used Alien Terrorist Removal Court.

Add the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, to the list of diplomatic posts closed around the world. Staff has been relocated to Islamabad. Coverage in the Times and the Wall Street Journal,

The Journal's Siobhan Gorman writes up the details of the Al Qaeda communications intercepted: it seems the communications were between Ayman al Zawahiri and Nasser al-Quhayshi, the leader of the Yemeni branch; al-Quhayshi proposed a plan, and Zawahiri approved it. What does this information tell us, you ask? That Al Qaeda truly is a bottom-up organization, Gorman writes.

Reuters reported early this morning that at least three more Al Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike in Yemen. The AP sums up the results of the drone strikes thus far: three strikes, 12 fatalities.

And CNN reports on the rare public appearance by the heads of the CIA, NSA, and FBI together, at a cybersecurity conference co-hosted by the FBI and Fordham University.  Quite the lineup, that conference has. Here are FBI outgoing Director Robert S. Mueller's remarks, on the FBI's perspective on the future of cybersecurity.

More cyber: Steven Caponi of BlankRome penned a three-part series this week over at Reuters Compliance Complete service discussing cybersecurity and boards of directors. The first two parts appear to be behind a pay wall, but the third is available here. Meanwhile, Christopher Matthews of the Wall Street Journal reviews a survey of companies that indicates that cybersecurity insurance is becoming more prevalent. Thirty one percent of respondent-companies indicated they have cybersecurity insurance, and 39 percent plan to purchase it in the future. Here's a link to access the Experian survey itself.

The Economist writes on the trend gaining popular ground in cybersecurity practices: companies installing active defenses like planting false information and "honeypot" servers. Are hack-backs next?

Meanwhile, it seems that two providers of encrypted, secure email are shutting down operations. The Post's Andrea Peterson shares the announcement of one such provider, which served Edward Snowden.

Snowden's mother, Lon Snowden, meanwhile, will be heading to Russia next week to see his son, the Wall Street Journal tells us. 

The Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John Sopko, is basking in the displeasure his assessments and critiques have wrought. Ernesto Londono spotlights Sopko in a piece in the Post, as does Matthew Rosenberg at the Times. On the topic of accountability in Afghanistan, Dion Nissenbaum reveals a criminal investigation of an Afghan businessman who may have bribed foreign contractors in order to secure transportation for Special Ops Command. The U.S. may have been defrauded of $77 million, Nissenbaum explains in the Journal.

Two Kazakh students, former classmates of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were indicted for obstruction of justice in the Boston Marathon bombing case. Here's NPR on that, and the press release.

The U.S. has indicted two individuals on 15 counts for providing material support to Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in Iraq/Al Nusrah Front, and Al Shabaab. Here's the press release.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll and blog, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.