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International and Foreign

MLAT Reform and the 80 Percent Solution

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the US and the UK were in negotiations to permit UK law enforcement agencies to request stored communications like email and chats directly from US-based providers like Facebook and Google. What’s more, the UK apparently wants these companies to be able to perform wiretaps as well.…   continue »

Is Money a Legitimate Target?

Last month, the United States targeted a “cash distribution site” where millions of dollars belonging to ISIS had reportedly been stored. The target was considered so valuable that it would have justified a high number of civilian casualties (rumors say that the magic number was 50).…   continue »

A New UK-US Data Sharing Agreement: A Tremendous Opportunity, If Done Right

This post is the latest installment of our “Monday Reflections” feature, in which a different Just Security editor examines the big stories from the previous week or looks ahead to key developments on the horizon.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the Brits and Americans are negotiating a new data sharing agreement that would permit UK-based law enforcement to request stored communications and live intercepts directly from US-based providers — as an alternative to the laborious Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process and other less transparent means of accessing the data.…   continue »

The Complexities of the FARC Deal

As I noted at the end of the year, the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP are continuing peace talks in Havana, Cuba aimed at ending the longest running conflict in the Western Hemisphere. The three-year peace effort is nearing a conclusion with both sides saying they hope to reach a final peace deal by March 2016.…   continue »

Why We Need to Reevaluate How We Share Intelligence Data With Allies

Last week, Canadians learned that their foreign signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), had improperly shared information with their American, Australian, British, and New Zealand counterparts (collectively referred to as the “Five Eyes”). The exposure was unintentional: Techniques that CSE had developed to de-identify metadata with Canadians’ personal information failed to keep Canadians anonymous when juxtaposed with allies’ re-identification capabilities.…   continue »

Mapping the Law That Applies to War Crimes in Syria

War crimes have been a consistent feature of the Syrian conflict since its inception. Indeed, a map of the war crimes committed in Syria reads like a survey course of the topic. The Syrian people have witnessed and experienced siege warfare; deliberate, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks against civilians and civilian objects; the misuse of conventional, unconventional, and improvised weapons and weapon systems; industrial-grade custodial abuses exemplified by photographs secreted from the country in 2013 by a former forensic photographer codenamed “Caesar”; the denial of humanitarian aid and what appears to be the deliberate use of starvation as a weapon of war; the intentional destruction of cultural property; and rampant sexual violence against men, women, and children.…   continue »

Democracy in Peril in Poland

The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe unleashed one of the most remarkable political transformations of modern times, paving the way for millions of Europeans long subjected to communist rule to embrace democratization and structural reform. The transformation was one that brought the promise of meaningful rule of law to fruition for the same millions.…   continue »

The Way Forward for Surveillance Reform Can Balance Human Rights and Government Needs

The fall of 2015 was marked by two key developments in the debate about laws on communications surveillance and the right to privacy. First, on October 6, the EU Court of Justice declared that the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, which have facilitated the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States since 2000, were invalid.…   continue »