"Going Dark" and the Intersection of Law Enforcement and Privacy Interests - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Peter Swire, Benjamin Wittes September 30, 2015

FBI Director James Comey recently testified before Congress about what he characterized as law enforcement's increasing lack of technical ability to carry out court orders to intercept and access communications and information because of a fundamental shift in communications services and technologies. This issue has been coined the “going dark" problem. According to Comey, changes in technology such as encryption hinder law enforcement’s ability to use investigative tools and follow critical leads to stop terrorists and cyber criminals.

Is "going dark" a real problem, or are Director Comey's concerns overblown? Do the means exist to develop techniques and tools, designed to mitigate the challenges associated with "going dark," while maintaining the privacy-protecting attributes of the technologies at issue?


  • Prof. Peter Swire, Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor of Law and Ethics, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology and Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP
  • Mr. Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Shane Harris, Paul Rosenzweig March 11, 2015

The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex shows, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. Shane Harris delves into the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Mr. Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. Finally, Mr. Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us, who spend our daily lives bound to the internet — and are vulnerable to its dangers.

  • Shane Harris, Senior Correspondent, The Daily Beast, and ASU Future of War Fellow, New America
  • Paul Rosenzweig, Principal, Red Branch Law and Consulting, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The Reach of Federal Warrants - The Microsoft Case - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
James M. Garland, David Howard February 11, 2015

In December of 2014, Microsoft filed a brief with the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York to prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from seizing a customer’s data stored in Dublin, Ireland. It’s a case that raises important questions about the right of Americans to know what the government and companies are doing with sensitive electronic data. How do we ensure accountability both to the law through reasonable regulation, and to the courts through effective judicial review? The case also raises questions about the rights of people in other countries. Will they continue to have their privacy rights protected by their own laws? Anticipating a world where every device is a connected device, these are but a few of the important questions raised by this case regarding the future of privacy and regulations going forward.

  • James M. Garland, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
  • David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

Surveillance, National Security, and Privacy: The PCLOB Report on Section 702 Surveillance - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Rachel Brand, James X. Dempsey, Matthew R.A. Heiman August 14, 2014

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) recently released its report on the surveillance program authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report includes an evaluation of whether the surveillance program comports with the terms of the statute, an evaluation of the Fourth Amendment issues raised by the program, and a discussion of the treatment of non-U.S. persons under the program. Also, the report makes policy recommendations for the program going forward. Two members of the PCLOB will discuss the report on this Teleforum and answer audience questions.

  • Hon. Rachel Brand, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation, National Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy, United States Department of Justice
  • Hon. James X. Dempsey, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  • Moderator: Matthew R.A. Heiman, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, Tyco

Privacy and National Security: The Merits of the Leahy FISA Reform Bill - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Stewart A. Baker, Harley Geiger August 13, 2014

Following the Snowden leaks, the country is once again re-examining the proper balance between national security and individual privacy. Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) has introduced a bill that would revise aspects of certain NSA surveillance programs. Two leading experts addressed the merits of this bill.

  • Hon. Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Harley Geiger, Senior Counsel and Deputy Director, Freedom, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology