The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Tara Hofbauer
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

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On Wednesday, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux published an Intercept article on the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) rules for classifying someone a terrorist. Wells shared the story with us.

Ben noted the Guardian’s recent interview with Edward Snowden and remarked that the differing accounts of the former contractor’s job at the National Security Agency (NSA) “warrant clarification.”

Susan Landau considered “the NSA’s subversion of the National Institute of Standard’s (NIST) random number generator” and recommended that Congress act to expand the NIST’s budget.

On Tuesday, Paul flagged news that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the Obama administration are close to a deal on a Senate NSA reform bill, which appears to be stricter than the House’s USA Freedom Act.

Paul also highlighted some of the major provisions of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014, which was recently voted out of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In Bits and Bytes this week, Paul noted a number of “conflict-oriented” headlines.

Ben shared the most recent installment of the Lawfare Research Paper Series. In “The Growth of Data Localization Post-Snowden: Analysis and Recommendations for U.S. Policymakers and Industry Leaders,” Jonah Force Hill, a technology and international affairs consultant, examines the post-Snowden trend toward data localization laws, the problem with such legislation, and methods for countering the negative effects.

Across the pond, Hugo Rosemont analyzed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) bill, which recently passed the British Parliament. This emergency legislation enables “the retention of communications data and associated powers of interception.”

Cody noted the release of the U.K.’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation’s report on 2013 British counterterror laws.

Wells flagged the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings in Al Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland.

Ben shared news that Russia has placed a travel ban on Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), Rear Adm. Richard Butler, Brig. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (ret.), Col. Janis Karpsinky (ret.), Judge Gladys Kessler, and Lynndie England.

In this week’s Foreign Policy Essay, former Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Dov Zakheim argued that the United States should allow other countries to take the lead on international development. “America has many strengths, but nation-building is not one of them.”

Stewart Baker provided the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast. Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School, served as this week’s guest speaker.

Ben posted this week’s Lawfare Podcast, which featured a discussion with Steve Vladeck and Wells on the D.C. Circuit Court’s en banc opinion in United States v. Al Bahlul.

This week, the U.S. District Court for D.C. denied two former Guantanamo detainees’ petitions. Cody shared Judge Ellen Segal’s opinion in Ameziane v. Obama, while Ben provided Judge Richard Leon’s ruling in Rimi v. Obama.

Jody Liu examined recent updates to the Second Circuit case involving the New York Times and the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on U.S. targeted killing.

Wells flagged news that the military judge in the 9/11 case has severed Ramzi Binalshibh from the terrorism trial proceedings.

Wells also shared news that a defense lawyer for former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr got in trouble over documents related to U.S. v. Khadr given to Lawfare.

In media criticism this week: Jack noted a piece written by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza on the many, seemingly intractable, problems that modern American presidents face. Jack recommended an essay by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., which explains why Cillizza’s view is wrong.

Charles Blanchard reviewed Robert Farley’s new book, Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force. He found the book, which argues against an independent U.S. Air Force, to be “fundamentally flawed.”

And that was the week that was.