National Security & Technology: Law & Policy (S)


This seminar explores how modern technology disrupts many of the customs and principles upon which our laws and institutions for national security have evolved. The advancement of modern technology is changing the nature of how we perceive and defend against security threats across all domains. Attacks can be launched in ways that national borders and other conventional defenses cannot easily stop, and the proliferation of privacy enhancing cryptographic tools provides virtual refuge for threat actors to congregate, coordinate and conspire. At the same time, the state has mobilized the use of new technologies--expanding, and indeed, redefining, surveillance capabilities--to predict, prevent and defend against threats in the modern era. This course will focus on a series of historical and contemporary challenges posed by a range of technologies to the government's administration of security and justice, and the solutions implemented or proposed by the state in response. The objective is to contextualize and deepen our understanding of the substantive and institutional questions that arise from the modern day "going dark" problem, in order to facilitate sound policy and good politics in areas that are devoid of law. Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to: the use of cryptographic tools to evade government surveillance; government proposals for "backdoor" access to people's devices and data; the use of government hacking as a surveillance tool; and the use of machine learning to predict and prevent threat incidents. No technical knowledge is required. NOTES: This class does not satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.
Spring 2018: LAW JD 849 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
A1Ahmed Ghappour3Tue10:40 am - 12:40 pm