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USA Freedom Act: Legal Changes and the Impact on Intelligence Collection
Sponsor
Arthur W. Fiske Lecture Series
Institute for Global Security Law & Policy
Co-sponsored by
CWRU Law National Security Law Society
OCT 21, 2015
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location
Moot Courtroom (A59)
CLE Credit
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit

After a heated battle that played out on Capitol Hill, the US Congress, on June 2, 2015, passed the USA Freedom Act, extending three surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act which had expired and amending, arguably the most controversial provision of that statute, section 215, which allowed bulk collection of US phone records by the National Security Agency. According to the new provisions on bulk collection, the NSA will no longer maintain the database of US phone records. Rather the NSA will have to request such records from the phone companies holding the records pursuant to an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Both the roving wiretap and lone-wolf provisions of the USA Patriot will go back into effect under the USA Freedom Act. The new law also requires the declassification of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions containing significant legal decisions.

While the new law has been described as a win for privacy, the security-versus-privacy debate is far from over. Certainly, the law has been a significant post 9-11 surveillance reform measure but the ultimate ramifications for security and privacy based on what was changed and what was not changed by the law needs further public discussion. The fact that there still remain numerous legal authorities that the federal government can rely on to conduct surveillance both domestically and internationally along with the continued concern voiced by intelligence officials about the threats facing this nation call for a much closer look at the effectiveness of the reform measures with both privacy and security in mind.

This talk will outline the legal changes under the USA Freedom Act and what they mean for intelligence collection. It will also identify additional existing legal authorities for intelligence collection outside the USA Freedom Act, raising questions of whether further reform may be in the future. Lastly, it will identify some of the challenges the new law will pose for those responsible for protecting the nation from threats.
Speaker Information
Catherine Lotrionte

Catherine Lotrionte
Visiting Assistant Professor of Government and Foreign Service
Director of the Institute for Law, Science and Global Security
Georgetown University


Professor Catherine Lotrionte is the Director of the Institute for Law, Science and Global Security and Visiting Assistant Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Professor Lotrionte teaches courses on national security law, U.S. intelligence law, and international law. In addition to teaching, Professor Lotrionte coordinates research projects and events for the Institute for Law, Science and Global Security at Georgetown. She is the Institute Liaison for the Program on Nonproliferation Policy and Law, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, in cooperation with the Monterey Institute for International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Professor Lotrionte is also the Director of the CyberProject. Professor Lotrionte and the Institute focus on the role of international and domestic law in recent and upcoming developments in cyber technology and cyber threats.

In 2002 she was appointed by General Brent Scowcroft to be Counsel to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House, a position she held until 2006. In 2002 she served as a legal counsel for the Joint Inquiry Committee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to that, Professor Lotrionte was Assistant General Counsel with the Office of General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she provided legal advice relating to information warfare, foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, and international terrorism. Before working in the Office of General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency, Professor Lotrionte served in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Professor Lotrionte earned her Ph.D. from Georgetown University and her J.D. from New York University and is the author of numerous publications, including a forthcoming book concerning U.S. national security law in the post-Cold War era. She is a frequent speaker at cyber conferences held by academic, military, government, and media organizations. She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Additional Information
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