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January 12, 2021

National security legal experts will discuss future challenges in ABA webinar series

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2021 — Legal experts and current and former officials from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Defense, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, National Security Agency, Department of State and Department of Treasury will discuss future national security challenges in the webinar series, “Emerging Critical Issues,” to be held online, Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5.

National Security CLE Webinar Series: Emerging Critical Issues, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security

Thursday-Friday, Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5


This webinar series explores potential national security challenges facing the United States in 2021 and beyond. As the pandemic continues to demand attention, these national security legal experts will outline threats to cybersecurity and technology, civil-military relations and economic security.

Thursday, Jan. 28

“COVID Legal Issues and Challenges” – As the COVID-19 public health crisis worsened, it soon became clear that our national security institutions and processes were being tested in new and unique ways. Panelists will examine emergency powers that the president has in the COVID-19 crisis; the authorities for the appropriate federal and state roles in the pandemic response; and the legal framework for providing information during pandemics.  11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

“The Commercialization of Foreign Intelligence – Evaluating the National Security Risks of China’s Tech Industry” – The goal of this conversation is to break down the national security claims for the bans of Huawei, WeChat and TikTok and to understand the legal framework of different types of threats. 1-2:30 p.m. ET

Friday, Jan. 29

“Civil-Military Relations and the Law, Post-2020” – To help bring the events of 2020 into sharp focus, this session will focus on the year’s key developments and dilemmas, their implications and what can or should be done in terms of norms and laws. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

“Disinformation and NexGen Social Media” – This panel will examine recent and ongoing disinformation activities, how social media and technologies such as artificial intelligence, bots and deepfakes are being used in disinformation activities, and the legal issues raised by attempts to prevent their use and limit the effects. 1-2:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, Feb. 4


“Economic Security: Protecting and Advancing U.S. National Security Interests” ­– This panel will explore challenging issues tied to emerging technologies and the impact of these changes on the economies of the United States and our allies, as well as what our nation needs to do in order remain at the forefront of innovation and to maintain its place as the world’s economic leader. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

“Leadership, Ethics and COVID-19” – This session addresses the role of ethics and leadership in defining the role of today’s national security lawyers. 1-2 p.m. ET

Friday, Feb. 5

“Crisis Preparedness and Response: Preparing for the Unknown” – This panel will discuss the legal authorities and the ingredients for good legal advice across a range of crisis areas. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

“Artificial Intelligence, National Security Law and Ethics” ­­– The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence has said, “the development of AI will shape the future of power.” This session will consider the ethical use of AI in national security decision-making. 1-2 p.m. ET

“Critical Issues in National Security Law – The Future” – Harvey Rishikof, senior counselor to the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, will join John Hamre, president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for closing remarks on the future of critical issues in national security law. 2-2:30 p.m. ET

A full agenda, including a complete speaker list with bios, can be found online.

This event is free and open to members of the press. For media credentialing and registration, please contact Jennifer Kildee at 202-662-1732 or [email protected]


The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.