As most Lawfare readers know, the United States accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman and crippling the ships with explosions that were presumably caused by naval mines. One tanker was flagged to Japan and the other to Norway.
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In May 2017, protests in Washington, D.C., against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended in violence by Turkish security officials.
These days, many people see technology companies as indifferent to law, or at least interested in remaining under-regulated. When Mark Zuckerberg called on Congress to regulate how social media companies should handle challenges such as harmful content and data privacy, the request was unusual enough to make headlines. This real or perceived disinterest in legal regulation has troubled a host of people, including those worried about protecting privacy and freedom of expression.
Amid a massive exchange of rocket fire and airstrikes between Israel and both Hamas and Islamic Jihad this weekend, Hamas attempted a cyber operation against an unspecified civilian target in Israel. The operation failed, and in its aftermath the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out an airstrike that destroyed the building housing Hamas’s cyber capability. Some observers are citing the incident as an important—and perhaps dangerous—precedent. Others are questioning the legality of the strike itself. Both these views are misplaced.
On Friday, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted government motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in Al Shimari v. CACI, a case brought by plaintiffs who were detained in Abu Ghraib. The full opinion is available here and below.
The growing challenges both to international human rights law and to the international legal system as a whole count as old news by now. The sources of these threats are many: the rise in populism and nationalism, the growth in power and assertiveness of both China and Russia, growing income inequality, the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and so on. Even in this context, however, the past year has been an especially difficult one for human rights.
While the conflict has subsided in most areas of Syria after nearly eight years of war, violence has escalated in the northwestern part of the country. The Idlib region is the last remaining area held by anti-regime forces and part of a demilitarized zone created in an agreement between Russia and Turkey in September 2018.
Certain Iranian Assets: The International Court of Justice Splits the Difference Between the United States and Iran
President Trump’s recent decision to recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president has placed the United States in the middle of a heated struggle over that country’s political future.