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Executive & Military

A Veteran’s Perspective on “Killer Robots”

Technological advances in robotics and other fields are already assisting soldiers with dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs on the battlefield. Within the military such advances should be encouraged, particularly in such areas as detecting explosive devices, search and rescue, and certain engineering tasks.…   continue »

Public Opinion, International Law, and Drone Strikes: Some Reflections

We commend Professor Charles Dunlap for his excellent recent post on international law and public support for drone strikes. As he notes, there are many points of agreement between him, Professor Goodman, and ourselves, primarily that when it comes to drone strikes, the American public is interested not just in being safe, but in being compliant with international law.…   continue »

Understanding the “end of war” dispute in the al Warafi habeas case

Attorneys for Mukhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi have filed their reply brief in the habeas action challenging al Warafi’s continued military detention at Guantánamo.  As I have previously explained, al Warafi argues that because he is detained as a member of the Taliban’s armed forces, and because the United States and the Taliban are no longer in an armed conflict with one another, the government’s domestic law authority to detain al Warafi has expired.…   continue »

Casualties and Polls: Some Observations

In a recent post provocatively entitled “New Poll: American Support for Drone Strikes Plummets When Innocent US Civilians Killed,” Just Security’s editor Ryan Goodman energetically tries to counter the many headlines about the May 1st AP/Gfk poll that found that notwithstanding the unintended deaths of an American and Italian hostage in Pakistan last January as a result of a drone strike (that also killed several al-Qaeda operatives who were the intended targets), the American people still strongly support the use of drones as a counterterrorism tool.…   continue »

DOJ Guidance on Cybersecurity Carrots and Sticks

In a speech yesterday to the annual Cybersecurity Law Institute, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell showed how far the Department of Justice has come in its dealings with the private sector on cybersecurity. Caldwell praised public-private collaboration on issues like botnet takedowns and highlighted recent outreach the DOJ’s Cybersecurity Unit has done to private sector groups.…   continue »

Transcript: FBI Director Says Authors of Encryption Letter Are Uninformed or Not Fair-Minded

Earlier today, FBI Director James Comey implied that a broad coalition of technology companies, trade associations, civil society groups, and security experts were either uninformed or were not “fair-minded” in a letter they sent to the President yesterday urging him to reject any legislative proposals that would undermine the adoption of strong encryption by US companies.…   continue »

The UN’s “Universal Periodic Review” of US Human Rights Practices—National Security Highlights

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review released a draft of its report on the United States’ UPR. The UPR is a process during which each UN member state has the opportunity to explain what measures it has taken to meet international human rights standards and receives feedback and recommendations from other member states in a sort of “peer review” process.…   continue »

German Cooperation With NSA Spies Broader Than We Knew

Late last month Der Spiegel reported that the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, participated in and directly supported the National Security Agency’s efforts much more broadly than originally revealed by the Snowden documents. The Der Spiegel story revealed that nearly five percent of the searches conducted according to NSA requests were violations of German intelligence policies — which, among other things, prohibit spying on European targets.…   continue »