The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Alex R. McQuade
Saturday, February 27, 2016, 10:46 AM

Well, we’ve had a busy week here at Lawfare. Let's start with Apple.

On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey asserted that the FBI could not look the survivors of the San Bernardino terrorist attack in the eye if it did not follow this lead, in regards to the Bureau’s request to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the attackers.

Before Apple responded in court, Andrew Woods commented on Apple’s possible arguments. When Apple filed its motion in court, Benjamin Wittes linked to Apple’s brief; he knew you’d want one.

He and Susan Hennessey entered the lion’s den on Tuesday and bravely faced Redditors with questions about the FBI v. Apple battle.

Herb Lin responded to Apple’s letters to the public and called them “slightly disingenuous” and contended that Apple’s decision to oppose the FBI’s request is the right outcome for now. He then followed up with another post in light of some criticism from his friends.

Amy Zegart categorized the “war of words” between Apple and the FBI as being so much more than a “security v. privacy” dilemma.

Herb Lin also outlined what Apple seems to want: PIN codes to update firmware, code as free speech, and legislative clarification.

Cameron Kerry shared his thoughts on the Apple v. FBI debate and stated that the FBI’s actions are forcing the issue to be decided not by the American people, but by magistrate and judges.

Nicholas Weaver recommended destroying Pandora’s iPhone because it would “provide the FBI with the data they desire without risking a dangerous precedent.”

In case you need to get up to speed with the Apple v. FBI dispute, Robert Chesney provided us with a quick and easy FAQ format outlining what is going on.

Nicholas Weaver also asked whether the FBI ever took into account what marketing companies collect and stressed the significance of these companies in regards to information they may hold.

Samm Sacks highlighted what Apple provides the Chinese government and asked, “what does Beijing actually ask of technology companies?”

Ben shared the latest Rational Security podcast: “The How About Them Apples?” edition.

In non-Apple news, President Obama on Tuesday submitted his plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Congress. Cody flagged the plan and also linked to President Obama’s official statement. Following the announcement, Ben shared his initial thoughts on the President’s plan. Robert Chesney also provided his thoughts and said that instead of “closing GTMO,” the plan really just means “moving GTMO.”

Helen Klein outlined Jawad v. Gates, a case in which a “former Guantanamo detainee seeks redress under the Alien Tort Statute." She also provided a deeper look into the Al-Nashiri oral argument from last week.

The 9/11 Military Commissions pretrials began anew a couple of days ago. Cody summarized the February 16 session, Yishai Schwartz covered the February 17 session, David Ryan outlined the February 18 session, and Francesca Procaccini caught us up on the February 22 session.

Jack Goldsmith and Ben introduced Lawfare’s new subsidiary page called Aegis: Security Policy in Depth, a page designed to explore legal and policy issues at the intersection of technology, national security, and law. David Kris debuted the first paper for Aegis commenting on trends and giving some predictions in foreign intelligence surveillance. Jack and Ben also invited all of us to the next Hoover Book Soiree featuring General Michael Hayden and his new book, Playing by the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror.

Michael O’Hanlon outlined what to do when containment doesn’t work in Syria. He says that the “ceasefire” in Syria reports reveal how unrealistic our thinking has become about the issue.

Laura Deen released the latest dispatch of Syria Displaced, which highlighted Syria’s “other government.”

Ben flagged a recent Brookings event entitled “Who We Really Are: A Conversation with Syrian Refugees in America.”

Cody shared the latest Lawfare Podcast featuring Leon Wieseltier discussing the moral dimensions of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Stewart Baker released two new editions of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, this one featured the Second Annual Triple Entente Beer Summit.

And this one featured an interview with Glenn Gerstell, the general counsel for the National Security Agency.

Paul Rosenzweig had some questions on the Department of Defense’s “third offset” strategy.

Cody also linked us to a House Judiciary Committee hearing on international conflicts of law concerning cross border data flow.

Daniel Severson commented on the French Constitutional Council striking down data copying during warrantless searches.

Daniel Byman analyzed the Islamic State’s archipelago and examines the pseudo-state’s many provinces.

Matthew Weybrecht shared his thoughts on free speech in an era of self-radicalization.

Mai El-Sadany provided some thoughts on how Egypt is prosecuting artistic freedom with the the two-year prison sentence of Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji.

Ellen Scholl issued the latest edition of Hot Commodities, the “Let’s make a Deal-Oil Edition.”

Finally, Zach Bluestone shared the newest edition of Water Wars, highlighting the latest missile-deployment controversy and featuring the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to Washington.

And that was the week that was.