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International and Foreign

Takeaways from the House Intelligence Committee Cybersecurity Hearing

On Thursday morning, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing on “Cybersecurity Threats: The Way Forward,” featuring testimony by Adm. Michael Rogers, the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency. The hearing hit hard on the need for a way forward–but revealed little about what that way might be.…   continue »

The End of the Snowden Affair

Sometime around 7:30 p.m. (EST) last night, the 17-month-long national conversation over how to reform U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance authorities effectively ended when the Senate failed to clear a crucial procedural step en route to what would otherwise have been the near-certain passage of the Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act—the surveillance reform bill that has been in the works for well over a year.…   continue »

America’s “Unequivocal Yes” to the Torture Ban

Last week in Geneva, the U.S. delegation appeared before the Committee Against Torture and announced important changes to the U.S. government’s legal position regarding the Convention Against Torture (CAT), which the U.S. ratified 20 years ago. When asked in 2006 if all provisions of the torture treaty applied without exception, the Bush administration answered, in effect, “no, some provisions do not apply either outside U.S.…   continue »

U.S. Changes Position on Torture Convention–Accepts Ban on Cruelty Applies Abroad

At a session before the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva this morning, the Obama administration made a significant shift away from the Bush-era interpretation of the Convention Against Torture. The U.S. delegation stated that the government had “carefully reviewed” the legal issues and “is prepared to clarify its views.”

The U.S.…   continue »