Welcome to the first Week That Was of 2016. Here’s a rundown of the happenings that defined the start of the new year.
In Sunday’s Foreign Policy Essay, Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship examined China’s quest for bases around the globe, arguing that the new competition is creating a dysfunctional market for access.
Beyond bases though, competition is also heating up on the high seas. James Kraska explored a few implications of the rise of submarine espionage in the South China Sea, asking whether such espionage inside a territorial sea is legal, and if not, what recourse a coastal state has to stop the activity.
Adam Klein and Mira Rapp-Hooper later explained Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s comments on the South China Sea freedom of navigation operations.
And Zack Bluestone reintroduced his feature Water Wars, our weekly roundup of the latest news, analysis, and opinions on the South and East China Seas. It’s a collection of all the things you missed in the region while away for the holidays.
Alex Loomis walked us through the Department of Justice’s amicus brief in Weinstein v. Islamic Republic of Iran, a case that asks whether country-code top-level domains are the property of those countries’ foreign governments.
Elsewhere, Zoe Bedell provided a primer on recent Iranian missile tests and how those tests interact with existing sanctions against the country.
Gerald Steinberg outlined the issues at play behind Israel’s recently proposed NGO law.
The general counsel of the National Security Agency, Glenn Gerstell, defended changes made to U.S. surveillance tools under the USA FREEDOM Act.
Herb Lin provided some reflections on FBI Director Jim Comey’s comments that strong encryption “is not a technical issue” but is instead “a business model question.”
Ben advised civil libertarians and cryptographers to be careful what they wish for when it comes to device hacking and the law. Susan Landau offered a response to Ben’s post, concluding that unbreakable encryption “is our only reasonable security solution.” Herb responded to Susan's post, saying that her cost-benefit analysis of vendor-installed surveillance systems was inapt.
Susan Hennessey flagged the Department of Justice’s motion to vacate the preliminary injunction in Klayman v. Obama. Susan and Cody also flagged the responses from Apple, Facebook, and other U.S. voices to the draft U.K. Investigatory Powers Bill.
Ben updated us on his application for Estonian digital residency.
Stewart Baker shared the latest edition of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, which features an interview with Lawfare’s own Nick Weaver.
Paul Rosenzweig asked whether a power black out in Ukraine is yet another cyber war event.
Ben shared the year’s first episode of Rational Security—the “We’re Golden” edition—tackling North Korean nuclear tests, Russian cyberattacks, and a new book about lawfare.
Elaine Korzak provided an update on cybersecurity at the United Nations, alerting us that the UN General Assembly approved the creation of a new Group of Governmental Experts to focus on information security.
Quinta Jurecic explored Obama’s legacy in law, transparency, and the politics of anguish.
John Bellinger explained several of the U.S. government’s concerns regarding the pending aggression amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Later, David Bosco expanded on Bellinger’s piece, examining the merit's of the U.S.'s concerns over the aggression amendments, and why it is increasingly difficult for the United States to prevent their adoption.
Ben reviewed the latest Guantanamo Bay exclusive from Rolling Stone, which he calls “very long and very uninteresting.”
Ashley Deeks highlighted the potential conflicts between state and local drone laws and the FAA’s recently released drone regulations.
Finally, Jack and Ben sent out the invitation to the fourth Hoover Book Soiree on January 19th, when Ben will interview Gayle Tzemach Lemmon about her new book, Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield.
And that was the week that was.