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FISA Section 702 Reauthorization
This year, a key U.S. national security law is set to expire. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has many moving parts, but the gist is that it allows the government to collect the communications of foreigners who are abroad, to gain foreign intelligence information, including when those people communicate with Americans inside the United States. And it can do that without a warrant. In practice, this means that intelligence agencies can order email services, like Google and Yahoo, to hand over copies of the messages of targeted foreigners to intercept the phone calls, texts, and internet communications to or from a foreign target.In the past, reauthorization by Congress was pretty much routine, and some new modifications and procedural safeguards have been added over the years. But this year could be different. A series of recent government reports and court opinions have shown extensive use of Section 702 as a domestic surveillance tool by the FBI. There have been numerous incidents of FBI agents pushing, and sometimes breaking, legal limits on accessing the data of Americans that is “incidentally” collected as part of a Section 702 search. Politics are also at play. Some members of Congress, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, have said they oppose reauthorization. To understand how the Biden administration is thinking about the Section 702 reauthorization, Just Security’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Tess Bridgeman sat down with Chris Fonzone and Josh Geltzer. Chris is the General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Josh is Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the National Security Council. Show Notes:Chris FonzoneJosh GeltzerJust Security’s FISA Section 702 coverage36:55 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX) Music: “Eyes Closed” by Tobias Voigt from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/tobias-voigt/eyes-closed (License code: XTRHPYM1ELYU8SVA)
A New Era for U.S. Asylum?
This week a U.S. public health measure known as Title 42 came to an end. The U.S. is supposed to allow people fleeing persecution to seek asylum. But Title 42 allowed the Department of Homeland Security to turn away asylum-seekers if detention centers lacked the room to hold them during the asylum vetting process. The policy made it difficult for migrants to even apply for asylum in the first place. They would often be released back into Mexico. But now, the old rules are back in place, and thousands of asylum seekers who have been stuck in limbo are poised to seek asylum again.The Biden administration is also rolling out a new set of policies designed to address asylum claims before migrants physically reach the U.S. border. It’s created a mobile app which people can use to schedule an appointment with immigration officials and the State Department is working on plans to open regional processing centers throughout the Western hemisphere. The new measures could upend a simple idea at the heart of a complex immigration system: that people fleeing violence and persecution have the chance to find refuge in the United States. That change has massive implications for those who live in the U.S. and those trying to reach it. To help us understand the end of Title 42 and what comes next we have Adam Cox, Michelle Hackman, and Cristina Rodriguez. Michelle is a reporter who covers immigration at the Wall Street Journal. Adam and Cristina are law professors at NYU and Yale respectively. They wrote a book called “The President and Immigration Law.” Show Notes: Adam Cox (@adambcox) Michelle Hackman (@MHackman)Cristina Rodríguez (@cmrodriguez95)Adam and Cristina’s Just Security article analyzing the end of Title 42Just Security’s asylum coverageMichelle’s Wall Street Journal reporting 32:18 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
A Guilty Verdict in the Proud Boys Trial
On May 4, 2023, a jury in Washington, D.C. found four Proud Boys leaders, including former Chairman Enrique Tarrio, guilty of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Proud Boys were the “tip of the spear” in planning and carrying out the January 6th attack. They tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. To help us understand what the verdict means, what’s missing, and what comes next, we have Tom Joscelyn and Mary McCord. Tom was a senior staff member on the House January 6th Committee and a lead drafter of its final report. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. Mary is Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She previously held senior national security roles at the Justice Department. Mary is a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board. Show Notes: Tom Joscelyn (@thomasjoscelyn) Mary B. McCordTom’s Just Security article analyzing the conduct of some January 6th defendants Mary and Jacob Glick’s Just Security article on anti-democracy schemes and paramilitary violence and Mary’s articleanalyzing seditious conspiracy charges Just Security’s January 6 ClearinghouseJanuary 6th Committee final report33:20 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
The Battle for Sudan
As fighting in Sudan enters its third week, rival generals have turned the country’s capital, Khartoum, into a warzone. Mohamed Hamdan, better known as Hemedti, and his paramilitary Rapid Support Forces are fighting with Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, who leads the Sudanese Armed Forces. For years, Burhan and Hemedti have wrestled for power and control of Sudan. But until now, they’ve been on the same side. In 2019, they teamed up to remove the country’s long-time President Omar al-Bashir from power. And in 2021, they toppled the civilian government for military rule. The latest fighting is a clash between two men, but it’s also the latest chapter in Sudan’s long fight for freedom. To help us understand the conflict, what it means for the people of Sudan, and how it will impact the region, we have Quscondy Abdulshafi, Suliman Baldo, and Rebecca Hamilton. Quscondy is a Senior Regional Advisor at the nonprofit organization Freedom House. He has over a decade of experience working on human rights and peacebuilding in Sudan and East Africa. Suliman is the Executive Director of the Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker, an organization that develops investigation and analysis of corruption in Sudan, led by Sudanese voices. Rebecca is a law professor at American University. But before that, she covered Sudan as a reporter for the Washington Post. Rebecca is also a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board. Show Notes: Quscondy Abdulshafi (@Qabdulshafi)Suliman BaldoRebecca Hamilton (@bechamilton)Sudan Transparency and Policy TrackerSuliman’s Just Security article on how the international community can respond to the conflictJust Security’s Sudan coverage32:35 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Broken” by David Bullard from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/david-bullard/broken (License code: OSC7K3LCPSGXISVI)
Supreme Court Ethics 101
The Supreme Court is back in the news and it's for all the wrong reasons. ProPublica reports that Justice Clarence Thomas has vacationed on private jets and superyachts all paid for by billionaire Harlan Crow. But Thomas didn’t disclose those trips. And his actions are just the Court’s latest ethics scandal. Last summer someone leaked the decision in Dobbs, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade. And the New York Times reports that the Supreme Court Historical Society – which is technically a charity – has raised over $23 million in the last two decades from private donors. The Society often hosts events where those private donors can meet and mingle with the Justices behind closed doors.That level of access to the Justices matters because each year the Court decides cases that impact everything from reproductive rights to gun control and the environment. The appearance that some people can buy influence on the court undermines the idea that everyone has an equal opportunity to have their case heard and fairly decided. In theory, there would be ethics laws in place to prevent a sitting Justice from accepting secret swanky vacations on superyachts and Adirondack hideaways. But do those laws really exist? To help us understand judicial ethics and what can be done to keep the Justices accountable, we have Caroline Fredrickson and Alan Neff.Caroline is a Visiting Professor at Georgetown Law and a Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Alan recently co-edited Rule of Law this week for the American Constitution Society and is a former lawyer for the City of Chicago. They are both experts on judicial ethics and the judicial system.Show Notes: Caroline Fredrickson (@crfredrickson) Alan Neff (@AlanNeff)Caroline and Alan’s Just Security article on Supreme Court ethics 3:25 ProPublica’s reporting on Justice Thomas’ relationship with Harlan Crow 18:35 NYT article on the Supreme Court Historical Society (The Daily episode here) 23:25 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “The Rose Jaguar” by Aaron Paul Low from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/aaron-paul-low/the-rose-jaguar (License code: IKEHLJFJSB7OEKVS)
Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of national security, foreign policy, and rights. We aim to promote principled solutions to problems confronting decision-makers in the United States and abroad. Our expert authors are individuals with significant government experience, academics, civil society practitioners, individuals directly affected by national security policies, and other leading voices.