On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Predicting and Preventing Terrorist Attacks

This time On the Road at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek speak with Electronic Frontier Foundation Executive Director Cindy Cohn, United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Federal Judge James Jones, and Chairman and Associate Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School Mohammed Hafez about the ongoing quest to prevent terrorism. Mohammad mentions that the increased visibility of global terrorist attacks has given rise to a discourse about how we should best deal with this issue, by understanding the nature of terrorism and how it has evolved over the years. Judge Jones gives a brief background on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court), which was established in 1978. Each judge serves as a duty judge in the court’s secure location in Washington D.C. for a week at a time to receive applications from the Department of Justice for surveillance of individuals suspected of terrorists activities. Cindy provides her thoughts on the concept of using the mechanisms of big data to predict who is going to engage in terrorist activity and the extent to which the FISA Court has approved mass surveillance procedures and programs that involve collection and/or analysis of large swathes of information. They close the interview by further investigating the versatility of terrorist organizations and how terrorism has transformed over time.e.

Cindy Cohn is the executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). From 2000-2015 she served as EFF’s legal director as well as its general counsel. Ms. Cohn first became involved with EFF in 1993, when the EFF asked her to serve as the outside lead attorney in Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography.

James Parker Jones is a United States federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He is a 1962 graduate of Duke University and a 1965 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mohammed M. Hafez earned his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. He is now an associate professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Previously, he served as a counterterrorism consultant to the U.S. government and visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.