The Lawfare Podcast (general)

The Wilson Center takes on the Apple v. FBI controversy in a panel entitled “Will They or Won’t They? Understanding the Encryption Debate.” Wilson Center President Jane Harman hosts the event, which features Congressman Ted Lieu of California discussing the encryption challenge with Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey and Kate Martin of the Center for American Progress. Politico’s David Perera moderates the discussion.

Direct download: Episode_160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20am EDT

This week as the battle between the FBI and Apple raged in a California court, the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington hosted Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) at an event unveiling new legislation that would create a commission tasked with developing viable recommendations on how to balance competing digital security priorities. Under their formulation, the commission would bring together experts who understand the complexity of both the security and technological aspects of the challenge. Following the conversation with Congressman McCaul and Senator Warner, Chris Inglis, Jim Lewis, Susan Hennessey, and Michael German discussed the merits of the proposal, and what the likely outcome would be. David Perera moderated the event. 

Direct download: Episode_159--BPC_Commission.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

This week we have Leon Wieseltier on the show, who among many other things, is the Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy at the Brookings Institution. Wieseltier is currently completing an essay on the moral, historical and philosophical dimensions of the refugee crisis. During his conversation with Lawfare editor-in-chief Ben Wittes, Wieseltier expresses his frustrations with the United States’ policy in Syria, arguing that the United States has a moral obligation to do more to alleviate the plight of Syrian refugees and that the U.S.’s refusal to act is the great foreign policy failing of our time. According to him, the United States has a responsibility to be more than the “world’s most powerful bystander.”

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #158: Leon Wieseltier on the Moral Dimensions of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. 

Direct download: Episode_158--Leon_on_Syria.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm EDT

Last week as part of the University of Texas at Austin Strauss Center's conference on "The Frontiers of Cybersecurity Policy and Law," Daniel Placek, formerly one of the key figures behind the underground hacker website Darkode, offered an inside look into what led him to start the website, which Europol once called “the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum to date.” In an interview with NPR News Correspondent Dina Temple-Raston, Placek describes the types of hacker tools once available for hire on the site, and describes what the future of the dark web looks like. He also discusses his cooperation with federal law enforcement officials in their efforts to take down the site. All in all, it’s an interview that shines a light into some of the darkest corners of the web and raises fundamental questions about how such places are policed.

It’s the Lawfare Podcast, Episode #157: Daniel Placek on Darkode.

Direct download: Episode_157--Darkode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

This week as Iowa voters took to the caucuses, Brookings hosted a panel discussion on defense strategy for the next president. The panel, moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, included Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute, and former Department of Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller, all making the case for U.S. leadership in world affairs. During their conversation, they explored the security challenges facing the next president, including two wars, a rising China, a resurgent Russia, and a metastasizing ISIS, all topped off by a contracting defense budget, and examined whether and in what ways those challenges will cause the next president to alter U.S. strategy overseas.

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #156: Defense Strategies for the Next President. 

Direct download: Episode_156--Defense_Policy_for_Pres.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Last week at The Brookings Institution, United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer participated in a discussion with Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes and Newsweek’s Dahlia Lithwick about his new book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities. During their conversation, Justice Breyer provides an overview of how in a globalizing world, the steady operation of American laws depends more on the cooperation of other jurisdictions than at any other time. He also examines how the Court's decisions regarding presidential power in national security have evolved throughout American history, and weighs how the Court can balance national security objectives in an increasingly connected world.

Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution, introduced Justice Breyer and the panel.  

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #155: Justice Stephen Breyer on The Court and the World.

Direct download: Episode_155--Breyer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT

The fourth Hoover Book Soiree held this week in Hoover's beautiful Washington, D.C. offices featured Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on her newest book, Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield. At the event, Lemmon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Lawfare’s editor-in-chief Ben Wittes discussed the growing role of women soldiers in special operations and beyond, examining the story of CST-2, a cultural support team of women hand-picked from the Army in 2011 to serve in Afghanistan alongside Army Rangers and Navy SEALs. Their conversation dives into how the program developed, the lessons learned in the process, and why its success may provide critical insights for future force integration. Former Marine and current Lawfare contributor Zoe Bedell, who served in a similar capacity in Afghanistan as the women in CST-2, joined them on the panel.  

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #154: Ashley’s War and the Role of Women on the Special Ops Battlefield. 

 

Direct download: Episode_154--Ashleys_War.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

This week, Brookings hosted a discussion on Bitcoin and the technology that undergirds the currency, specifically focusing on the promise of the distributed-ledger. The panel featured David Wessel, Michael Barr, Brad Peterson, Barry Silbert, and Margaret Liu, on how the blockchain could revolutionize payment flows and reduce the cost of financial transactions, all while securing information and enhancing privacy. They also tackle some of the most pressing policy questions facing the technology---from consumer protection to terrorists' finances---and how those tensions can be addressed. 

It's a relatively positive take on Bitcoin and its future potential and an argument for why you should buy back your Bitcoin if you sold it after last week's show featuring Lawfare's Bitcoin skeptic, Nick Weaver. 

Direct download: Episode_153--Buy_Your_Bitcoin_Back.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

This week we have on Nick Weaver the show. Nick's a regular Lawfare contributor, senior staff researcher at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, and as you’ll see, quite the Bitcoin skeptic. Nick walks Ben through what exactly Bitcoin is, answering whether the platform is a financial opportunity of historical proportions, the massive criminal problem law enforcement officials have suggested, or something else entirely—a waste of your money. Nick also outlines some of the design flaws he sees in Bitcoin and why those flaws, which many in the Bitcoin community view as important features, will actually lead to the platform’s downfall. It’s a discussion of Ponzi schemes, the benefits of the blockchain, and the future of international currency transactions.  

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #152: Nick Weaver on Why You Should Sell Your Bitcoin. 

Direct download: Episode_152--Bitcoin_Nick_Weaver.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33pm EDT

This week, we asked Lorenzo Vidino and his co-author, Seamus Hughes, both from the George Washington University Program on Extremism, into the studio to discuss their new report, “ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa.” Their study looked at the 71 Americans charged with ISIS-related activities. So what commons denominators did they find within the group? How much of a role does social media play in radicalization and recruitment? And what should law enforcement do to counter violent extremism? We discuss all that and more. 

It’s the Lawfare Podcast Episode #151: ISIS in America: Disrupting Retweets from Raqqa.

Direct download: Episode_151--ISIS_in_America.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT