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STRENGTHEN SECTION 702: A CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE TOOL VITAL
TO THE PROTECTION OF OUR COUNTRY
DEBORAH SAMUEL SILLS
The rising globalization of terrorist organizations and their ever more sophisticated abilities to reach people throughout the world has deepened the threat of terrorist activities both in the United States and abroad. Recent events show that terrorist groups overseas have influenced homegrown terrorist acts in the United States. Many of these same overseas terrorist organizations are recruiting thousands of new members from Western countries, including hundreds from the United States. In light of these growing threats, the United States must ensure that our country has the necessary legal authorities to anticipate and counter them. One such vehicle for providing the United States with these critical legal tools is through strengthening Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act (FAA).
Information collected pursuant to the FAA Section 702 provides foreign intelligence information that is critical to the protection of the United States against terrorist threats. Members of the Intelligence Community believe that Section 702 collection offers valuable insights into the plans, objectives, and operations of terrorist organizations. For example, the NSA considers information acquired under Section 702 as the “most significant tool in the NSA collection arsenal for the detection, identification, and disruption of terrorist threats to the U.S. and around the world.”5 Likewise, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Mathew G. Olsen, testified that “Section 702 collection was instrumental to our efforts to discern the intentions and capabilities of our terrorist adversaries, contributing both to our strategic judgments and tactical insights.” Congress also recognizes that the intelligence obtained under Section 702 is essential to our national security, observing that this information is “often unique, unavailable from any other source, and regularly provides critically important insights and operationally actionable intelligence on terrorists and foreign intelligence targets around the world.”
THE MENTAL HEALTH OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY:
PROTECTING THE MINDS THAT PROTECT THE HOMELAND
I first met Sergeant First Class (SFC) Domenic D’Ambra when I was assigned as the judge advocate1 for a United States Army Special Forces battalion in June 2009. I met Dom while we were preparing for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Dom was a young Green Beret from Providence, Rhode Island, but he sure sounded like he was from Boston. Having attended college in Boston, the accent holds a special place in my heart so Dom and I hit it off right away. I think Dom got along with everybody because he was an incredibly positive man. Dom would stop in my office periodically and we would chat about nothing and everything.
In March 2011, our battalion deployed to Afghanistan. That July 31st there was a fire on our camp in the team living quarters for one of the Marine Special Operation Teams. Three Marines died in the fire along with one military working dog, Tosca. I witnessed incredible bravery and heroism that day, including Soldiers and Marines in shorts and t-shirts taking hoses from firefighters to fight the fire while ordnance and ammunition detonated within the house. From the aid station, I watched these Marines pull the remains of their brothers and sister from the smoldering rubble of the team’s house. I will never forget helping the team leader secure their valuables from the remains (including a wedding ring) and ensuring that their remains would receive the proper care and respect. Several days later, our chaplain held a meeting for people to talk about and share their feelings of grief and stress. Some of America’s finest warriors, Green Berets, SEALs, Marines, and others were emotionally brought to their knees, some even weeping in grief. These men prepared much of their adult lives for the horrors of combat, including the possibility of losing a brother or their own life in the process of answering the nation’s call to service, but not a single one of them had a mental framework to understand the tragedy of this fire. My background in the fire service made me somewhat more prepared for this event and resulted in my ability to more deliberately observe the aftermath of the tragic fire.
CYBERSECURITY, IDENTITY THEFT, AND STANDING LAW: A FRAMEWORK FOR DATA BREACHES USING SUBSTANTIAL RISK IN A POST-CLAPPER WORLD
JAMES C. CHOU
A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.
~Niccolò Machiavelli, THE PRINCE
Large-scale cyberattacks involving the theft of personal and confidential records continue to make headlines as cybersecurity evolves into a national issue. In 2015 alone, there were over 2,000 cases of data breaches with known data loss across a range of institutions. Many data breaches, such as those involving the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Ashley Madison, have implicated more than just financial or identify-theft concerns, they have also raised national security issues and exposed victims to potential blackmail.
As the cyber threat evolves, there is more data suggesting that databreach victims are at a heightened risk of becoming subsequent victims for identity theft and other related crimes. In 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that identity theft affected 16.6 million people and inflicted financial losses totaling $24.7 billion, which is $10 billion more than burglary, vehicle theft, and general theft combined. Furthermore, estimates for 2014 increased, with an estimated 17.6 million victims totaling near $15.4 billion. More importantly, while forensic analysis of some data breaches suggest a zero-day or complex attack that is hard to prevent, many highprofile breaches could have been prevented through simple controls and safeguards.