The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Rishabh Bhandari
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 10:54 AM

Elizabeth McElvein analyzed both Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump’s reaction to the Orlando massacre through the lens of the politics surrounding immigration.

Paul Rosenzweig sketched out a few proposed steps for a new doctrine of homeland security. He also flagged a new question that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will begin asking individuals entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and the traditional I-94 visa program about their social media accounts.

Bruce Riedel warned that Yemen may be irreparably partitioned despite the United Nations’ latest “roadmap” to peace. Asher Susser pointed out that Israel’s greatest strategic concern has shifted from the united power of their Arab neighbors to their collective weakness and instability. Sarah Yerkes highlighted the one-year anniversary of the brutal attack in Tunisia that claimed 38 beachgoers and the country’s ensuing economic struggles. Helen Murillo flagged a Hollywood insurance dispute in California that must determine whether Hamas’s attacks on Israel constitute “war” or “terrorism.”

Samir Saran traced the ongoing encryption debate in emerging markets where policymakers are torn between privacy, commercial, and security considerations. Rishabh Bhandari filled us in on an Indian RTI activist’s unsuccessful petition for the Indian Supreme Court to ban WhatsApp and all other end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms.

Nora Ellingsen continued her coverage of U.S. criminal cases of young men who are seeking to leave the United States and join the Islamic State.

Jeremy Rabkin and Ariel Rabkin urged U.S. policymakers to permit U.S. companies to launch hack-back operations against perpetrators of cybercrime. Benjamin Wittes disclosed that Lawfare was the subject of a denial of service attack that ostensibly “stemm[ed] from machines in Latvia masquerading as googlebot crawlers.” We have not hacked back—yet.

James Andrew Lewis stressed that the U.S. intelligence community doesn't pursue economic espionage—even if no one believes it. Carrie Cordero flagged the purchase of Wright USA, a major insurance provider for high-level U.S. government officials, by a Chinese company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Stewart Baker posted the latest episode of Steptoe Cyberlaw, wherein Fred Kaplan features as a guest to discuss his new book on cyberwarfare.

Jack Goldsmith invited Lawfare readers to the latest book soiree at the Hoover Institution’s Washington office on July 13, when Ben will interview Steve Budiansky about his new book, Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union.

David Ryan dissected the “FOIA Improvement Act of 2016” that President Barack Obama signed into law on Thursday night. Steve Slick called both major presidential candidates to publicize how they will manage the U.S. intelligence community and the policies they will pursue in this sphere if either is elected Commander in Chief. John Bellinger implored Republican leaders to repudiate Trump’s most recent endorsement of waterboarding.

Jack Goldsmith reviewed the Obama administration’s approach to international law and what this might mean for his successors. He also publicized the most recent issue of the Harvard National Security Journal.

Robert Chesney posted his quick take on the White House’s first public assessment of U.S. drone program and civilian casualties resulting from it. Kenneth Anderson argued that drone warfare constitutes an evolution in how we wage war but not an entire paradigm shift, notwithstanding the feverish tenor with which drones are often discussed.

He also reviewed Mary Thompson Jones’ new book on the unique role Foreign Service Officers should play in molding U.S. foreign policy. Daniel Philpott reviewed two books by Elizabeth Hurd and Saba Mahmood that explore how the United States championed religious freedom and its historical implications for the Middle East.

David Hajjar asserted that the United States should utilize its scientific community as a diplomatic tool for improving relations and encouraging economic growth in the Middle East. Ingrid Wuerth looked around the world and concluded that this has not been a good year for human rights and international law.

Ben shone a spotlight on a new study on sextortion authored by Janice Wolack and David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center. He also interviewed Mona Sedky, a Department of Justice prosecutor who specializes in sextortion cases, for the Lawfare Podcast.

The gang grappled with the thorny question of ‘Brexit’ and the recent attack in Istanbul in the latest episode of the Rational Security podcast.

And that was the week that was.