Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Friday, August 16, 2013, 11:19 AM

The uncommonly busy month of August chugs forward.

The Washington Post posted some more Edward Snowden-leaked NSA materials last night, as Sean mentioned. That prompted official statements from the National Security Agency posted at the same newspaper, and remarks from FISC Chief Judge Reggie Walton. Judge Walton said: "The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders."

Charlie Savage wrote on these matters at the New York Times. Reuters says that Snowden grabbed these latest documents while on Dell, Inc.'s employment rolls back in 2012, before his stint at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Meanwhile, over at Rolling Stone, Democratic Senator and long-time critic of the NSA surveillance programs Ron Wyden explains in a Q&A about how he almost leaked the existence of these programs on the floor of the Senate. Brendan Sasso noted the story over at The Hill.

With all of that out of the way, here's what else is going on:

The prosecution makes the case for a harsh sentence for Bradley Manning today in the court martial sentencing proceeding. Here's an AP piece.

It appears the Syrian Electronic Army waged cyberattacks on the PostCNN and Time yesterday, by breaching the safeguards at Outbrain, a firm that handles web links on those and other sites. Here's the BBC report on the strikes.

The New York Times reported that New York State's financial regulator distributed 22 subpoenas to entities that have a connection to bitcoins, the online digital currency. Coincidentally (or not), Senators Carper and Coburn wrote to outgoing DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting details of her department's policies with regards to bitcoins. Read the letter here.

The Economist has some stories of interest to Lawfare readers: on the evolution of organized crime, about the release of notorious Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero on a technicality 28 years into a 40 year sentence, and on the ongoing presence of Basque terrorist organization ETA.

Doctors Without Borders announced that after twenty-two years of service, it will be ending its operations in Somalia, as the risks of remaining in the country are just too high.

Robin Simcox wrote this op-ed at the National Interest explaining why he thinks that GTMO won't be closing anytime soon, despite the Obama administration's repeated statements saying it would shutter the detention facility.

With all the debate over how to impose cybersecurity standards for private industry, I bet you've wondered what safeguards nuclear power plants might have in place to defend against cyber breaches. Well, luckily for you,  Thomas Franch of nuclear power company AREVA has this detailed piece at Power Engineering describing what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission mandates of its regulatees.

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.