Challenges facing the IC in InfoSec

Over at TPM, I wrote a fea­ture arti­cle about the loom­ing cul­tural clash between hack­ers and the intel com­mu­nity. For the Intel­li­gence Com­mu­nity, Snow­den was a scary exam­ple of some­one who once believed in the government’s posi­tion but had turned, sud­denly it seemed, res­olutely against it. Tech­nol­ogy web­site Ars Tech­nica dug up enthu­si­as­tic old posts […]

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A New Platform for Writing

Start­ing today, the sub­stan­tial ana­lytic blog­posts that nor­mally appear here a cou­ple of times per week will be appear­ing at my new perch over at Bea­con. It’s a new plat­form where read­ers actu­ally pay for the con­tent writ­ers pro­duce — a novel con­cept! You can sub­scribe to me here, it’s how you can sup­port, for […]

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Poor Prospects for the War in Syria

My lat­est for Defense One: As the world pon­ders what comes next for Syria, the involve­ment of Iran and Hezbol­lah weighs heav­ily. And the prospect of more direct involve­ment by Tehran has many ana­lysts wor­ried. More­over, the increas­ing rad­i­cal­iza­tion by Syr­ian rebel groups, includ­ing the SMC’s deci­sion to work directly with the local al Qaeda […]

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Full Text: How Snowden’s leaks will hurt the inner workings of Washington

I wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail’s “World Insider” sec­tion where I thought out some con­se­quences in Wash­ing­ton that will come from Snowden’s leaks. The fea­ture is subscriber-only, but I secured their per­mis­sion to reprint the piece in full, below. After fail­ing to board his flight from Moscow to Havana, Edward Snow­den is more […]

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Three Guiding Principles for Reforming the NSA

Over at the Amer­i­can Prospect, I have a long piece about what we need to think about for reform­ing the NSA. Even today, when con­gress­men and sen­a­tors com­plain that the national secu­rity appa­ra­tus is too large or too pow­er­ful, they are derided as weak, lov­ing our ene­mies, and wish­ing for Amer­ica to fail. Hill staffs […]

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Blame Congress

I have an op-ed over at National Memo, explain­ing why we must blame Con­gress for the NSA’s sur­veil­lance. Rather than chal­leng­ing the administration’s author­ity to secretly inter­pret and enact laws, how­ever, Con­gress instead twice autho­rized them to keep every­thing a secret. Last year, Ron Wyden, a Demo­c­rat on the Sen­ate Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, tried to prohibit […]

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Do Drones Work?

For the Amer­i­can Prospect, I ask do drones actu­ally accom­plish the goal they’re meant to? Taken as a whole, drones seem to be quite good at what they’re sup­posed to do: dis­rupt­ing ter­ror­ist groups. But that isn’t enough to actu­ally end the threat posed by ter­ror groups. Are the civil­ian and psy­cho­log­i­cal costs drones incur worth it? […]

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Why Drone Autonomy Might Actually Be Good for Human Rights

Over at For­eign Pol­icy, I have a piece sug­gest­ing autonomous drones might actu­ally be good for us. Yet many experts are uncer­tain whether autonomous attack weapons are nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing, either. “Can we pro­gram drones well? I’m not sure if we can trust the soft­ware or not,” Samuel Liles, a Pur­due pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in […]

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The Chechen Connection: The Boston bombers have put the region and U.S.-Russia relations in the spotlight

Over at The Amer­i­can Prospect, I have a brief arti­cle ask­ing if the eth­nic­ity of the Boston bombers will effect U.S.-Russia rela­tions. Russ­ian offi­cials are quick to under­score that they are vic­tims of Chechen ter­ror­ism, not causes of it.  As if to under­score this point, Ramzan Kadyrovv—the Moscow-approved strong­man who cur­rently gov­erns Chechnya–left a com­ment on […]

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Displaced: What happened to the people who fled the terror in Chechnya.

For For­eign Pol­icy, I explained how Chechnya’s expe­ri­ence of war led to dis­place­ment, and that it is even­tu­ally what brought the Tsar­naev broth­ers to Amer­ica. As a result, many Chechens who fled to Cen­tral Asia did not find refuge, just harass­ment and con­tin­ued uncer­tainty. It should not be sur­pris­ing that thou­sands moved on, as appar­ently the Tsarnaev […]

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