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News Roundup and Notes: March 27, 2015

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.


Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes on Yemen continue. Warplanes continued bombing Houthi targets in the country through a second night, and a spokesperson of the coalition has said strikes would continue “as long as necessary.” [Al Jazeera]  Al Arabiya has a guide to “Operation Decisive Storm.” [Be sure to check out Nathalie Weizmann’s post at Just Security this morning on the international law implications of the Saudi-led intervention.]

Saudi Arabia kept some of the details of the planned Yemen offensive from the U.S.  continue »

The Right Way to Share Information and Improve Cybersecurity

This year is turning out to be a banner one for flawed proposals that would allow businesses to share information about Americans’ online activity with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the name of cybersecurity. First came the White House plan in January, then the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) — which passed the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 14-1 vote earlier this month — and on Tuesday, the House introduced the Protecting Cyber Networks Act.…   continue »

Preparing for Cyber War: A Clarion Call

This post is the latest installment of our “Monday Reflections” feature, in which a different Just Security editor examines the big stories from the previous week or looks ahead to key developments on the horizon.

In every War College in the world, two core principles of military planning are that “hope is not a plan” and “the enemy gets a vote.” Any plan developed without sensitivity to these two maxims is doomed to fail.…   continue »

Whither the Section 215 Reauthorization Debate?

Remember section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act — and the bulk telephone records metadata program the government conducted pursuant a controversial interpretation of that authority? Remember how section 215 is set to expire on June 1 — which is why folks were so confident that Congress would just have to consider at least some meaningful surveillance reforms after and in light of the Snowden revelations?…   continue »

Why Sunset and Supersession Provisions Are Both Needed in an Anti-ISIL AUMF

Yesterday, I testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), in a forum on the President’s proposed authorization to use military force (AUMF) against ISIL.

My testimony focused on three points: First, the need to sunset the 2001 AUMFsecond, the need to make clear that the ISIL AUMF provides the sole source of authority for fighting ISIL — something something that Secretary of State John Kerry supported in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week; and third, to the extent that Congress chooses to authorize force against “associated forces,” the importance of defining that term in accordance with recognized principles of co-belligerency — and thereby reject the overly-broad definition offered by the Obama administration in its draft legislation.…   continue »

The Council of Europe’s Draft Protocol on Foreign Terrorist Fighters is Fundamentally Flawed

The Council of Europe last week released a Draft Additional Protocol to its 2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism intended to assist European countries in implementing the UN Security Council’s anti-foreign terrorist fighter resolution (UNSC Res. 2178) by stipulating — via binding international treaty — specific conduct to be criminalized in the domestic criminal laws of each member state.…   continue »

Microsoft Case: The Government Responds, But Fails to Convince

The government has now filed its Second Circuit brief in the dispute with Microsoft (discussed here, here, and here), challenging key assertions by Microsoft and its many amici, and making a strong argument that a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) requires Microsoft to turn over emails in its custody and control, regardless of whether they are being held (in this case in Dublin).…   continue »