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February 09, 2022

National security legal experts will discuss emerging critical issues in virtual ABA conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2022 — Legal experts and current and former officials from government agencies will discuss critical national security issues facing our nation over the next year in “National Security Law CLE Conference: Emerging Critical Issues,” featuring 10 panel discussions held virtually Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25.

National Security Law CLE Conference: Emerging Critical IssuesSponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security

Thursday-Friday, Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25


Welcoming remarks from William Banks, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security and Mary DeRosa, chair of the advisory committee for the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, will kick off each day’s agenda. The conference will examine such issues as the line between national security and law enforcement operations in cyberspace, domestic threats, national security and privacy in a digitalized world, and how national security law should be applied to artificial intelligence.

Highlights include (all times are EST):

“The National Security Implications of Domestic Discord: How Our Adversaries Create, Enhance, and Use Our Internal Disagreements Against Us” — The U.S. has long been a stronghold of democracy and liberal values. However, recent events including the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, the Charlottesville riots of 2020 and the massive conspiracy theories gripping many across the nation have led some to worry that the freedoms we cherish are being utilized by bad actors, at home and abroad, to engender more problematic events and narratives, as well as to deepen existing disagreements within our nation. This panel will explore the implications that such domestic discord and foreign manipulation have on our national security and what, if anything, we might do about it in both the short term and long term. Speakers include Matt Olsen, assistant attorney general in DOJ National Security Division; Sue Gordon of CACI International; and Suzanne Spaulding, former DHS undersecretary. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Feb. 17

“The Future of National Security Surveillance” — Where can we expect law and policy regarding national security surveillance to go in the coming years? Where should it go? An panel will help us understand these questions, set against growing domestic national security threats from militias, white supremacists who network with racists abroad, and other American political extremists; damaging revelations about sloppy work by some actors in the FISA process; controversies about surveillance that have left several FISA authorities lapsed; and questions about upcoming renewal of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. 1-2:30 p.m., Feb. 18

“Cybersecurity, National Security, and International Law” — Significant cybersecurity incidents in the last year havDe made more urgent difficult questions about the lines between national security and law enforcement, the relative roles of government and the private sector, and strategies to improve the U.S. cybersecurity posture. How should the United States address the threat of ransomware? What, if any, new legislation and regulations are needed to better secure critical infrastructure? How successful have U.S. efforts to shape international rules of the road for cyberspace been to date, and what are the next steps? This panel will address these and other issues in light of domestic and international law, as well as policy considerations. Featured panelist is Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy at the DOD. 1-2 p.m., Feb. 24

“Fourth Generation Social Media, Disinformation and the Metaverse” — Never before have so many individuals had such a tremendous opportunity to access information, to engage with others and to express their views on a global scale. Simultaneously, 24/7 online access means that actors can more easily manipulate networks, foment hatred, reach audiences poised to engage in violence, and spread false information. The panel will consider questions such as: Does the government have the right to remove content from these sites? Can it require the same of private actors? The panel will discuss legislation currently before Congress designed to address some of these concerns. Speakers include U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts; Doowan Lee, CEO and co-founder of VAST-OSINT; Laura Donohue, professor at Georgetown Law School; Amanda Shanor, assistant professor at Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania; and Matt Abrams, co-founder and vice president of industry developments and strategic adviser for Graphite Health. 3-4 p.m., Feb. 24    

“The Future of Artificial Intelligence Is Now: Has the Intelligence Community Already Missed the Boat?” — Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the top of everyone’s minds these days, not only because of the incredible opportunities it will bring to our nation, but also because adversarial nations are challenging the U.S. in unprecedented ways, bringing their power, people and purse strings to bear to win the AI race. This panel will explore the progress made by the IC thus far, legal and policy hurdles to integrating AI capabilities into the IC, the IC’s AI ethics framework, and lessons learned from the Department of Defense in an effort to propose practical solutions and clear steps lawyers and policymakers can take to ensure the IC does not miss the AI boat. Speakers include Corin Stone, DOD principal deputy general counsel; Jacqueline Aker, CIA deputy privacy and civil liberties officer; Terrence Edwards, ODNI chief of staff of the principal deputy director, and Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, U.S. Air Force. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Feb. 25.

A detailed agenda, including a complete list of speakers, can be found online. For media credentialing and registration, please contact Jennifer Kildee at 202-662-1732 or [email protected]

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