Category Archives: Issue Archive

Defining the Scope of “Possession, Custody, or Control” for Privacy Issues and the CLOUD Act

With a growing number of US companies storing their electronic data across country lines, US law enforcement agencies are left with the difficult task of trying to access electronic evidence stored outside of their physical jurisdictions.

In response, Congress passed the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (Cloud Act) in 2018 to provide the US government with the power to order the production of electronic evidence that is stored outside of the US if it is within a US company’s “possession, custody, or control.”

However, the Cloud Act does not define what constitutes the “possession, custody, or control” of electronic evidence, raising concerns about the scope of US authority under the Act. Through their examination of existing domestic and international jurisprudence interpreting these terms in other legal contexts, Hemmings, Srinivasan, and Swire outline the key factors courts should balance in analyzing this pivotal phrase.

Persistent Enforcement: Criminal Charges as a Response to Nation-State Malicious Cyber Activity

Malicious cyber activities by foreign states present major challenges to the US government. Foreign governments steal intellectual property, attack election systems, wage influence campaigns, and cripple American companies. One tool brought to bear most recently against these state actors is the criminal indictment.

This article reviews the use of criminal charges as a response to nation-state hacking and proposes a conceptual framework for understanding the utility of those charges as a tool to effectively combat malicious cyber activity.

Finally, the article applies this framework to case studies involving China, Russia, Iran, Syria, and North Korea and evaluates the use of criminal charges as a component of broader U.S. cyber policy.

Requesting a Challenge Inspection Against Syria Under the Chemical Weapons Convention: Venturing into Uncharted Territory

In response to the April 2018 chemical attack in Syria that killed more than 40 people, the United States, France, and Britain launched more than 100 missiles targeting three suspected chemical weapon storage and research facilities. However, subsequent reports have raised questions concerning the accuracy of the intelligence regarding these facilities. Rather than conducting this airstrike, the US-led coalition should have utilized the unique verification mechanism provided by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997: a challenge inspection.

Through an in-depth examination of the never been used CWC challenge inspection, Jonathan Greengarden outlines the process for requesting a challenge inspection and explains why it is not too late to request such an inspection against Syria. Utilizing this powerful verification tool is necessary in order to hold CWC violators accountable and to reinforce the international norm against using chemical weapons.