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The Latest Rules on How Long NSA Can Keep Americans’ Encrypted Data Look Too Familiar

Does the National Security Agency (NSA) have the authority to collect and keep all encrypted Internet traffic for as long as is necessary to decrypt that traffic? That was a question first raised in June 2013, after the minimization procedures governing telephone and Internet records collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were disclosed by Edward Snowden.…   continue »

Is it Possible to Ban Autonomous Weapons in Cyberwar?

Political and technological developments have often spurred responses from international humanitarian law (IHL). We already have a good sense of the major questions on the agenda in upcoming years. Two are especially noteworthy: First, how to apply IHL to cyberwarfare? Second, how to regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS)—including whether to create new laws regarding both domains?…   continue »

ISIS Fighting Against Taliban: The Enemy of My Enemy Is …?

In a surprising twist, reports are emerging this week that the Islamic State (IS) is making inroads into Afghanistan, and has engaged in fighting against the Taliban there.

Afghan government officials confirmed on Monday that IS has been actively recruiting in southern Afghanistan, and there have been reports of IS fighters clashing with the Taliban, whose leaders want nothing to do with IS.…   continue »

The State of Humanitarian Law in Cyber Conflict

During the recent Sony incident, politicians and pundits debated whether the cyber operations allegedly launched by North Korea were an “act of war.” Presumably, they were asking whether the operations qualified as an “armed attack” that allows a victim State to respond with armed force, including destructive cyber operations, under the law of self-defense.…   continue »

Palestine and the ICC — Some Legal Questions

There has already been a great deal of political commentary about the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court. What about the legal issues?


The last time the Palestinian Authority (PA) went to the ICC was in 2009, in the wake of Israeli Operation Cast Lead.…   continue »

Top 10 National Security Cases to Watch in 2015

In the spirit of the annual taking stock that accompanies the change of year, I thought I would offer my take on the top ten national security cases and themes to watch in the coming year. The cases (not in any particular order of importance) each have implications for national security policy well beyond the discrete issues presented in the case, and each is worthy of attention over the coming year:

(1) Latif v.  continue »