Jane Chong, Benjamin Wittes and I kicked off the week by proposing seven different theories that might explain what we know so far about L’Affaire Russe. In conjunction with the piece, Jane launched Lawfare’s new resource page chronicling just what it is that we know about the Russia Connection, and made the case for why such a new resource is necessary.
Ben, Susan Hennessey, and I also liveblogged FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, testimony which featured Comey’s impassioned defense of his decision to release information on the Clinton email investigation in the runup to the presidential election. The Rational Security gang also discussed Comey’s testimony on this week’s episode, the raunchy “Intelligence Porn” edition;
Paul Rosenzweig flagged a possible solution to the problem of “fake news” and suggested that Ben may be a Twitter bot—a point which Ben has not yet publicly disputed.
Last week, we discovered that the NSA had ended “about” collection under Section 702. Adam Klein considered what that development might mean, and Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck ran through the details on the National Security Law Podcast (click through for audio). The Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast took up the issue as well:
On Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its 2016 transparency report regarding the use of national security authorities. Jordan Brunner summarized the report, and Bobby did the math on the report’s statistics about the use of the FISA business records authority. Adam noted that an FBI query over the course of a non-national security-related investigation returned 702-acquired data only once in 2016.
Paul posted the most recent version of the Trump administration’s draft executive order on cybersecurity, and Herb Lin gave us his thoughts on the impact of emerging technologies on cybersecurity. In the Cybercrime Roundup, Sarah Tate Chambers updated us on an effort to use Twitter as a weapon, a guilty plea in a bizarre copyright trolling scheme run by a fake porn producer, and the rise of the script kiddies.
Ben discussed transatlantic relations post-Snowden with Russell Miller and Ralf Poscher on the Lawfare Podcast:
In this week’s Water Wars, Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant considered an effort to soft-pedal disputes over the South China Sea in this year’s ASEAN summit. And in the Middle East Ticker, J. Dana Stuster gave us the latest on Turkey, Iraq, and Yemen. Beverly Milton-Edwards took a look at the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails.
Emma Kohse wrapped up Lawfare’s coverage of this session of pretrial hearings by the military commission convened to try Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, and Russell Spivak noted a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by former Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad over his alleged torture while in government custody.
Meanwhile, Daniel Byman worried about President Trump might mishandle the response to the next terror attack.
Dana Stuster reviewed three recent books that sound the alarm over the state of sovereignty in the modern world: Rosa Brooks’ How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, Richard Haass’ A World in Disarray, and David Kennedy’s A World of Struggle. Kenneth Anderson flagged a new volume on reforming global refugee policies. And Tom Dannenbaum reviewed Aaron Xavier Fellmeth’s Paradigms of Human Rights Law, an effort to situate IHRL in context of its philosophical roots.
And that was the week that was.