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News Roundup and Notes: July 25, 2014

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.


A UN-protected school functioning as a shelter for Palestinian evacuees came under attack yesterday, killing at least 16 people and wounding dozens [New York Times’ Somini Sengupta].…   continue »

Guest Post: The PCLOB Report and Eight Questions About Section 702

Note: The views expressed below are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of PCLOB or its other Board members.

On July 2, Professor Jennifer Granick posed the question: “Did PCLOB Answer My Eight Questions About Section 702?” She concludes that her questions went largely unanswered in the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s report (hereinafter, “PCLOB report”) issued earlier that day, on the surveillance program operated under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.…   continue »

Nine to One, Baby, One in Nine: Surveillance by the Numbers

There’s a great deal of interesting material in this weekend’s big Washington Post story on collection of Internet communications under §702 of the FISA Amendments Act.  But in a way, the single fact that has gotten the most attention—that 90% of §702-acquired communications in a trove provided by Edward Snowden were sent by someone other than the target—is also the least surprising. …   continue »

Guest Post: Does the Intelligence Community Fear Lawyers…or Legal Scrutiny?

[Editor's Note: See Marshall Erwin's response to General Dunlap here.]

In a provocatively entitled essay, Are National Security Lawyers a National Security Threat? Marshall Erwin, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and former “lead intelligence specialist” at the Congressional Research Service, asks if national security lawyers are a “security threat” because, as he claims, they “distract us from important questions about national security and intelligence community efficacy,” and “this hurts America’s national security bottom line.”

Mr.…   continue »

Pleasant Surprises – and One Disappointment – in the Supreme Court’s Cell Phone Decision

As commentators quickly recognized, there’s just cause for celebration in this week’s Supreme Court decision in Riley v. California, requiring a warrant to search an arrestee’s cell phone. The result was by no means a foregone conclusion because the Court had long held that police may search an arrestee and everything in his possession without a warrant and without any reasonable basis for suspicion.…   continue »

Guest Post: New Resource — Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse FISA Archives

Thanks to Just Security for letting me blog today about a new resource. Obviously there have been load of disclosures about FISA matters over the past year—between the Snowden documents, the FOIA-driven ODNI declassifications, the FISA Court’s nifty new on-line docket, and papers filed in district court cases around the country, there’s now lots and lots of information out there about FISA implementation.…   continue »