Today's Headlines and Commentary

Ritika Singh, Yishai Schwartz
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 12:58 PM
We begin on these shores: Shane Harris of Foreign Policy has an exclusive report about the cyber security unit of the Federal Reserve and its role in helping to protect trillions of dollars from hackers. Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times tells us that the Senate Intelligence Co

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We begin on these shores: Shane Harris of Foreign Policy has an exclusive report about the cyber security unit of the Federal Reserve and its role in helping to protect trillions of dollars from hackers. Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times tells us that the Senate Intelligence Committee quietly eliminated a provision in a bill last year which would have required the White House to disclose "the total number of combatants [and civilians] killed or injured during the preceding year by the use of targeted lethal force outside the United States by remotely piloted aircraft." Sari Horwitz has a profile of the new head of the DOJ's National Security Division, one John P. Carlin. Carol Rosenberg reports on the testimony of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri’s psychiatrist to the Guantanamo court. The defense is trying to establish the inadequacy of the treatment their client has been receiving and is seeking an order compelling specialized treatment. At Secrecy News, Steve Aftergood compares the redacted and unredacted versions of Intelligence Community Directive 304, and concludes that ODNI has caved to the CIA in seeking to obscure the CIA’s leading role in collecting human intelligence. Over at SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston previews arguments in this morning’s police and cell phone privacy cases, and emphasizes how much the cases may turn on the specific technology involved. The Washington Post's editorial board argues that the Supreme Court "should begin laying out privacy protections for smartphones." John Villasenor has written the inaugural paper in a series on robotics: "Products Liability and Driverless Cars: Issues and Guiding Principles for Legislation." As the title suggests, the paper discusses the liability issues that go hand-in-hand with autonomous vehicles. As legal battles continue over the extent of FAA authority to regulate drone usage, a Santa Fe real estate agent has begun using drones to provide long-distance tours of properties. Privacy activists are not pleased. The Associated Press has the story. Stuart Taylor, Jr. has penned the latest Brookings Essay. It is entitled "The Big Snoop: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Terrorists," and it delves into the divergent views of four prominent experts (Senators Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden, Joel Brenner, and Jameel Jaffer) on the Snowden controversy. Though the perspectives of all four experts on this subject are well-known to Lawfare readers, the piece frames the ongoing surveillance debate and helps to shed light on the reforms that await the NSA. Saajid Badat, a former Al Qaeda associate, testified yesterday via live video feed in the trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical British Islamic cleric extradited to New York City to face "11 charges of providing material support to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, trying to set up a jihadi training camp in Oregon and helping to oversee the 1998 kidnapping of Western tourists in Yemen that ended in the deaths of three Britons." The Telegraph has the latest in the trial, as does the Guardian. On to global developments: Some members of Congress are dissatisfied with President Obama’s latest sanctions against Russia. These critics are describing Monday's sanctions as “too little, too late” or “tepid,” reports The HillThe European Union followed suit today, adding fifteen individuals to the list of those facing travel bans and asset freezes, says the Wall Street Journal. Mayor Gennady Kernes of Ukraine's second largest city was shot over the weekend; he has been airlifted to Israel for treatment. In Egypt, the crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood intensifies as a court ordered the execution of over 680 defendants, including the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. The Times notes that simultaneous pressure is being applied to liberal groups, as a second court banned the activities of the April 6 group, a leading liberal organization in the country. The White House Office of the Press Secretary released this statement on the mass trials and sentencing. Another typical day in Washington: Everyone's up in arms about Secretary of State John Kerry's "apartheid" remark about Israel. Far more importantly, here's a timeline of how nine months of Middle East peace talks fell apart. How did Haji Gulalai go from being a notorious and brutal Afghan intelligence chief to living in Southern California? Here's the Post. The lull in violence from the Afghan Taliban is prompting unease, speculation, and questions. And, Reuters informs us that the Yemeni military launched a major offensive against Al Qaeda strongholds in the south of the country. Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Ritika Singh was a project coordinator at the Brookings Institution where she focused on national security law and policy. She graduated with majors in International Affairs and Government from Skidmore College in 2011, and wrote her thesis on Russia’s energy agenda in Europe and its strategic implications for America.
Yishai Schwartz is a third-year student at Yale Law School. Previously, he was an associate editor at Lawfare and a reporter-researcher for The New Republic. He holds a BA from Yale in philosophy and religious studies.

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