The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Anna Salvatore, Tia Sewell
Saturday, October 31, 2020, 9:51 AM

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, on foreign interventions in U.S. campaigns:

That interview concerned, in part, an article in which Laura Rosenberger and Lindsay Gorman discussed authoritarians’ use of influence operations and argued that the practice should be understood as part of a larger strategy to reshape the information space into a less democratic landscape.

Meanwhile, as part of a series published in cooperation with the Stanford Internet Observatory, other commentators argued that the threat of online foreign influence campaigns in the 2020 election is overblown: Joshua A. Tucker argued that amid the already highly-polarized U.S. political environment, there is limited room for Russian troll influence operations to actually sway voters’ beliefs. And Claire Wardle argued that the continued focus on Russian influence campaigns, as opposed to domestic security threats, is significant and dangerous. Emerson Brooking assessed the rapid growth in the study of foreign influence and social media manipulation over the past few years and argued that the field will need to move toward sustainability and equitability in the future.

On Lawfare Live, Renee DiResta and Joshua A. Goldstein took questions on the series from an audience of Lawfare readers:

powered by Crowdcast

Meanwhile, Zahavah Levine introduced a five-part series on litigation about mail voting during the 2020 general election as part of Lawfare’s collaboration with the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. In the first installment to the series, Aviel Menter explained how cases concerning the eligibility to vote by mail have been litigated throughout the country this year. Connor Clerkin and Lane Corrigan then dissected current legal battles aimed at removing barriers for submitting ballots during the vote-by-mail process.

In the third part of the series, Lane Corrigan, Christopher Meyer and Alexander Ross Perry examined legal challenges seeking to expand ballot collection options in the United States. Zahavah Levine and Thea Raymond-Sidel analyzed rules governing the verification of mail-in ballots in part four. And in the final installment, Alexander Ross Perry and Christopher Meyer assessed efforts to halt vote-by-mail expansion in the 2020 U.S. general election.

Jack Cable, Sydney Frankenberg, Toni Friedman, Jennifer Friedmann, Jesse Lazarus, Chase Small, Adriana Stephan, Alex Stout, Christopher Wan and Alex Zaheer summarized vote counting and reporting procedures in battleground states in order to help inoculate Americans against election night misinformation.

Sara Chimene-Weis and Helen White asserted that bans on guns at polling places are plainly constitutional.

Howell shared this week’s edition of the Lawfare Podcast's "Arbiters of Truth" series on disinformation, in which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Casey Newton on the evolution of platforms and content moderation—especially in the lead-up to the election:

Ryan B. Greer presented resources for policymakers to counter threats of election-motivated violence in the United States without causing Americans to panic.

Erica D. Borghard argued that while U.S. Cyber Command plays a role in election security, other entities are better positioned to defend the U.S. against certain election interference threats.

Howell also shared this week’s Rational Security, in which the gang discussed the period between Election Day and the inauguration, as well as the national security challenges that the winning 2020 candidate will face during his administration:

Rohini Kurup shared a Justice Department complaint that charged eight alleged Chinese state agents with conspiracy to target anti-Beijing dissidents in the United States.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with Jacob Schulz, Jordan Schneider, host of the ChinaTalk podcast and Sheena Greitanon, associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, on what the U.S. government can do to combat human rights violations against the Uighur population in the Chinese province of Xinjiang:

Jon Temin argued that term limits provide an essential check on leaders worldwide, and the international community should reinforce regular leadership rotation in order to protect democratic ideals globally.

Lestor Munson shared an episode of Fault Lines featuring an interview with Ambassador Atul Keshap, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, on challenges and trends in the Asia-Pacific region:

Vera Mironova discussed the multitude of online fundraisers for women affiliated with the Islamic State, many of which occur publicly on social media.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview with Jack Goldsmith and Stephen Wertheim, deputy director of research and policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft about his new book on U.S. hegemonic militarism:

Brandon Willmore, Amy Kapczynski and John Langford explored whether President Trump would be able to order the FDA to approve a treatment for unscientific reasons.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring Susan Hennessey’s conversation with Rep. Jim Himes to discuss the U.S.’s intelligence competition with other countries:

Stewart Baker shared this week’s edition of the Cyberlaw Podcast featuring commentary on a Google antitrust complaint, digital trade and new U.S. sanctions on a Russian institute, among other things:

Kelsey Landau explained how advancing beneficial ownership transparency could help tackle the problem of anonymous corporate ownership of shell companies in the United States.

Kurup shared an Oct. 29 House Judiciary Democrat-led report which detailed the findings from a nearly two-year investigation into the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Nicol Turner Lee and Darrel West shared an episode of TechTank which addressed Zoom fatigue in the U.S. and explored how American companies have shifted to telework environments:

She also shared another episode of TechTank on whether there is a way to keep U.S. schools open safely amid the pandemic:

And that was the week that was.