A Right to Speak Anonymously? Political Contributors and Reporters’ Confidential Sources - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Andrew Grossman, Stephen R. Klein, Paul S. Ryan, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Robert P. Young, Jr., Manuel Klausner November 18, 2015

Supporters of mandated disclosure of the source of speech (or of money used to pay for speech) claim it can provide important information to the public and the legal system. But opponents say it violates privacy rights and can also deter the sources from speaking or contributing.

This debate also applies to reporters' confidential sources. In both situations, disclosure (of who contributed or spent, or who a confidential source was) may provide useful information to voters, prosecutors, civil litigants, judges, or jurors. In both situations, requiring disclosure of the source may deter people from contributing to controversial campaigns or organizations, or from talking to journalists. Politically, people tend to react differently to these reactions – confidentiality of contributors tends to be more supported by conservatives, while confidentiality of journalists' sources tends to be more supported by liberals. But structurally, are these issues similar? This panel will consider both these questions together.

Free Speech: A Right to Speak Anonymously?  Political Contributors and Reporters’ Confidential Sources
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
State Room

  • Mr. Andrew M. Grossman, Associate, BakerHostetler
  • Mr. Stephen Klein, Pillar of Law Institute
  • Mr. Paul S. Ryan, Senior Counsel, Campaign Legal Center
  • Hon. Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Moderator: Hon. Robert P. Young, Jr., Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Michigan
  • Introduction: Mr. Manuel Klausner, Co-Founder, Trustee, and Legal Advisor, Reason Foundation and General Counsel, Individual Rights Foundation

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

"The Drone Papers": What They Reveal About The Fight Against Terrorism (And What They Don't) - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Adam Klein October 30, 2015

In October of 2015, The Intercept, a website founded by Edward Snowden confidant Glenn Greenwald, unveiled "The Drone Papers," a series of stories based on secret documents provided by a new, anonymous leaker in the U.S. Government. Many in the media hailed the series, calling for congressional investigations and major changes in U.S. policy.

Adam Klein, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, discussed "The Drone Papers" -- what they are, what they reveal about U.S. operations, what claims they do and do not support, and the implications for counterterrorism law and policy.


  • Adam Klein, Visiting Fellow, Center for a New American Security

"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