Category Archives: Vol. 13 No.1

Shot in the Dark: Can Private Sector “Hackbacks” Work?

In an era when cyberattacks are becoming ever more prevalent, there is a growing demand for private companies to “hackback” to deter and defend against attacks. But federal law precludes them from doing so. Sam Parker addresses the risks and benefits of allowing companies to respond to cyber-threats by going on the offensive and analyzes three legislative hackback proposals.

Because Parker finds that each proposal is either insufficiently effective or bears unacceptable risks, he recommends a hybrid proposal that would allow federal authorities to authorize and strictly supervise companies to engage in defensive cyberattacks. Parker argues this approach enables private companies to be “force multipliers” against cyberthreats while also mitigating the risks of a feared “Wild West” scenario where the private sector can hackback against anyone without restraint.

ISIL as Salesmen? The Roles of Due Diligence and the Good Faith Purchaser in Illicit Artifact Trafficking

Looting and pillaging have been an aspect of warfare for millennia. Art theft, antiquities looting, and artifact trafficking is both profitable and easy, especially in countries where much of the ancient world is not yet excavated. This trade has served to fund many syndicates around the world over the last century, most recently becoming the main monetary support for terrorism.

In this note, Victoria Maatta argues that the US should help to combat the artifacts trade stemming from ISIL activities. She surveys the current caselaw and finds the standards that art and antiquities purchasers must abide by are unclear and current legal treatment of these issues ultimately does nothing to thwart illicit art trafficking.

Instead, Maatta proposes a more focused legal approach to the issue that prioritizes due diligence on the part of the purchaser and has the primary goal of ensuring the protection and proper ownership of the antiquities.

On the Precipice: Democracy, Disaster, and the State Emergency Powers That Govern Elections in Crises

In times of crisis, states may grant their executives emergency powers that can be expansive in scope often with few, if any, legislative or statutory safeguards. When elections overlap with emergencies, as happened in 2020 when the US presidential election coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic, state emergency statutes enable officials to modify the administration of elections, reshaping how Americans vote.

Author Dakota Foster takes a hard look at the use of state emergency powers during elections and the impact that the broad use of these powers can have on the democratic process. By examining the legal underpinnings of these powers in statute and court precedent, as well as their real-world application across Florida, Texas, and California in 2020, Foster explores an intersection—state emergency powers and elections—that is both under-studied and primed for abuse.

Foster argues that as election administration becomes increasingly politicized, and as governors face increased pressure from national parties, the emergency powers intended to safeguard democracy’s most vital instrument—elections—could be harnessed to democracy’s detriment.