National Security and Civil Liberties
This course will examine the balance between protecting national security and safeguarding constitutional values. We will explore government tools designed to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks and to detect espionage. We will also study the impact these tools have on privacy, free speech, free assembly, open courts, and transparency in government. Topics will include electronic surveillance conducted by NSA and FBI pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”); investigative techniques authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act; use of informants and sting operations; the Classified Information Procedures Act (“CIPA”); the role and impact of leaks, such as those by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks; detention of enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and military tribunals; free speech implications of prohibiting material support to designated terrorist organizations; the use of immigration law to protect national security; exploitation of social media; free speech and assembly rights of domestic extremist groups; and related topics.