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Cybersecurity and the NSA

Panel discussion from last March, by members of the Federalist Society (that would be the Good Guys’ scholarly law society, as opposed to the American Constitution Society, constituted by the Bad Guys–a.k.a. “Progressives” and “Libruls”–in reaction to the evil awfulness of the Good Guys). Long, but worth it. Pros and Cons of the NSA’s warrantless data collection on Americans, including Constitutional, legal, and practical issues; and a little about the FISA Court.

In particular, Prof. Randy Barnett is his usual cogent and interesting self, and the third gent, Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, is an absolute hoot. The set of presentations is most interesting, and there are good points and food for thought.

Description and cast of characters below the video.


Published on Mar 25, 2014

The NSA acts pursuant to broad statutory authorities, and has interpreted those statutes to enable vast data collection programs. Two programs in particular, programmatic surveillance of the content of communications and bulk collection of metadata have become the subject of heated public and scholarly debate. Are these programs consistent with the NSA’s mission to gather foreign intelligence and to defend U.S. government information systems? Have the leaks about these programs jeopardized national security, or have they enhanced public accountability? Is there a better way to strike a balance between privacy and security?

The University of Florida Student Chapter hosted this panel discussion during the 2014 Annual Student Symposium on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

–Mr. Stewart Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
–Prof. Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center
–Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
–Moderator: Chief Justice Ricky Polston, Florida Supreme Court

University of Florida Levin College of Law
Gainesville, FL


  1. Paul Marks says:

    A generally good bunch – on most things.

    As for their foes the American “Constitution Society” – a classic example of Orwellian naming, as it is made up of people who fundamentally hate and despise the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America.

  2. Julie near Chicago says:

    Agree. I did think Prof. Rabkin was more heat than light, what what hilarious heat!

    The A.C.S. I find it completely impossible to disagree with you. Of course the name will rope in quite a few Real Humans, but I do hope their noses work even if their brains don’t. *g*

    One “turnabout is fair play”: The Federalist Soc. quite, quite often has at least one golem on its panel, and whoever it is sometimes begins by saying that he’s the token librul this time. Well, I have seen one from A.C.S. where Prof. Epstein announces that he is the non-Progressive (or libertarian, or Fed. Soc.) person on the panel. :>)!

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