Cybersecurity & Tech Executive Branch

Lawfare Daily: Protecting Information and Communications Technology and Services, with Director Elizabeth Cannon

Natalie K. Orpett, Brandon L. Van Grack, Elizabeth Cannon, Jen Patja
Thursday, May 2, 2024, 8:00 AM
Discussing the newly created Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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What do port cranes, TikTok, artificial intelligence, and connected vehicles have in common? They may all be subject to regulation by a new office within the Department of Commerce: the Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services (OICTS). 

Between 2019 and 2023, the president issued multiple executive orders aimed at securing the United States' information and communications technology and services. They focused on the supply chain, cybersecurity, sensitive data of U.S. persons, and artificial intelligence. And in 2023, OICTS was created to implement them.

Executive Editor Natalie Orpett and Contributing Editor Brandon Van Grack spoke with the Office's Executive Director, Elizabeth Cannon. They talked about the Office's recent activities, who it regulates, and how it sets priorities. 

This is the latest episode in our special series, “The Regulators,” co-sponsored with Morrison Foerster, in which we talk with senior government officials working at the front lines of U.S. national security policy.

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Natalie Orpett is the executive editor of Lawfare and deputy general counsel of the Lawfare Institute. She was previously an attorney at the law firm Jenner & Block, where she focused on investigations and government controversies, and also maintained an active pro bono practice. She served as civilian counsel to a defendant in the Guantanamo Military Commissions for more than eight years. She also served as counsel to the National Security and Foreign Policy Legal Team of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
Brandon L. Van Grack is a partner and co-chair of the National Security and Crisis Management practices at Morrison & Foerster LLP. He is a former senior national security official at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as Chief of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit, Senior Assistant Special Counsel to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, Trial Attorney in the Counterintelligence & Export Control Section, and as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Elizabeth Cannon is the first Executive Director of the Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services within the Department of Commerce.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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