Tag Archives: Big Data

On the Bulk Collection of Tangible Things

This article examines the controversy surrounding bulk telephone metadata collection that has ensued since their disclosure in June 2013. The author analyzes the “use of tangible things” provision to acquire telephony metadata, including limitations on this practice, the statutory issues such a practice raises, and the ways in which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has decided on the issue since 2006. This article concludes that the Executive’s response, as delineated in a January 2014 speech, has yet to be fully implemented; however, the author argues that the disclosures have nonetheless raised new questions about the relative values of privacy and transparency in US intelligence.

Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information



The Journal of National Security Law & Policy and

The Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law

cordially invite you to

Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data:

National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information

Keynote Speaker

The Honorable Rajesh De, General Counsel, National Security Agency

Georgetown University Law Center

Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor

120 F Street, NW

Washington, DC  20001

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Big Data is transforming national security capabilities.  Despite massive data-storage capacity and sophisticated analytical tools for processing data from myriad sensors, the rate of data collection is outstripping our ability to analyze it.  Compounding this challenge is an outdated and piecemeal legal and policy framework governing how data is collected, stored, shared, and used.  “Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data” will demystify Big Data, address its challenges and potential, and chart a legal and policy framework for an evolving technology.


Twitter hashtag: #bigdata

RSVP: Big Data Symposium at Georgetown Law


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Denise BellJournal of National Security Law & Policy, Senior Symposium Editor

Dean William Treanor, Georgetown University Law Center

William BanksJournal of National Security Law & Policy Editor-in-Chief & Professor of Law, Syracuse University


Panel 1: Mapping the Ocean: The Fundamentals, Challenges, and Applications of Big Data

The sheer amount and ever-increasing sophistication of information have overwhelmed systems to store, share, and analyze data.  How can the ocean of data be turned into actionable intelligence?  How can we harness transformational technology for national security while protecting privacy in a society where people both willingly and unknowingly build large individual databases about themselves?


Professor Julie Cohen, Moderator, Georgetown University Law Center

Ari Gesher, Senior Software Engineer, Palantir Technologies

Professor Sean Fahey, DHS Programs Manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

Professor Daniel Weitzner, Director, MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group & Policy Director for Technology and Society, World Wide Web Consortium


Panel 2Building Sturdy Harbors: A Forward-Looking Law and Policy Framework for Big Data

What legal and policy framework should be applied to the privacy, civil liberties, and national security issues raised by Big Data collection, storage, sharing, and analysis?  Does current law and policy adequately address these concerns?  Moving forward, how will and how should law and policy catch up to govern emerging technologies?


Professor Laura Donohue, Moderator, Georgetown University Law Center

Professor Jennifer Granick, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet and Society

Alex Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Paul Ohm, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Trade Commission & Professor of Law, University of Colorado


Keynote Address

The Honorable Rajesh De, General Counsel, National Security Agency


Panel 3: Charting the Future: What to Expect from Big Data

A solution-oriented roundtable discussion, this panel will feature a case study of a Big Data application under development, followed by a discussion on the legal and policy protections that should be in place to extract value from that application while mitigating the risks associated with its research, national security, and commercial use.


Professor Stephen Vladeck, Moderator, American University, Washington College of Law

Mary Ellen Callahan, Partner, Jenner & Block

Elisebeth Cook, Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board and Counsel at WilmerHale

John Grant, Civil Liberties Engineer, Palantir Technologies

Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology

Robert O’Harrow, Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post

Registration & Continental Breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.

Keynote Luncheon begins at 12:45 p.m.


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Twitter hashtag: #bigdata

RSVP: Big Data Symposium at Georgetown Law

This information is also available at the center’s website here.

Please contact the Journal of National Security Law & Policy at info@jnslp.com with questions.

The Past, Present, and Future of Cybersecurity

The cyber threat is the most pervasive and pernicious threat facing the United States today. Its mention does not immediately conjure visions of the catastrophic horrors that would result from an attack using a weapon of mass destruction, but today’s cyber threat is a very real and present danger. As of September 14, 2009, more than 10,450,000 U.S. residents had been victimized by identity theft in 2009 alone, and that number increases by one victim each second.2 Fifteen million victims will lose more than fifty billion dollars each year.3 Specific threats such as identity and consumer fraud allow us to quantify and understand part of the cyber threat in terms that allow the U.S. government,4 corporate America,5 consumer groups, and individuals6 to take preventive action. However, the growing number of victims would clearly suggest we have not effectively solved the problem, even if we are starting to comprehend its scope.

The cyber threat to U.S. national security, economic security, and public health and safety is far more amorphous and less susceptible of comprehension than its kinetic analogs. Popular media productions such as 247 and Live Free or Die Hard8 have depicted sophisticated cyber intrusions that intentionally caused aircraft collisions, a nuclear power plant meltdown, a compromise of White House security and communications…