The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Foreign governments will not hack this election

The bold predictions episode (No. 238) of the Cyberlaw Podcast


This episode puts our experts on the spot with an election-eve question: Will foreign governments attack US electoral rolls or vote-counting machinery in 2018? Remarkably, no one on our panel (Matthew Heiman, Nick Weaver, David Kris, and I) thinks they will. So if you want cybersecurity news, you can stop listening to election coverage and tune in to Episode 238 of The Cyberlaw Podcast.

Our interview features Steve Rice (Deputy CIO for DHS) and Max Everett (CIO for the Department of Energy) and was originally taped at a session of the Homeland Security Week conference.

In the news, Nick evaluates the report that China hijacked the Border Gateway Protocol; he thinks we need more data. David agrees with me that one way to get the data would be a Justice Department subpoena.

Matthew Heiman explains why SCOTUS is skeptical of Google's cy pres settlement that treated 129 million class members like bystanders at someone else's party – and why that skepticism may not appear in US Reports any time soon.

Nick and David lay out the painful story of how failures in CIA communications with their assets may have severely compromised HUMINT operations in Iran and China.

Matthew and I talk about the string of right-wing killers in the past few weeks and the tech implications, including the defenestration of Gab and a lot of throat-clearing about amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Matthew also explains, then casts doubt on, a Florida Appeals Court decision that rejects the "foregone conclusion" doctrine for compelled passcode disclosure.

After all the Internet-enabled vibrator stories we've covered on the podcast, I think we're obliged by gender equity to cover this effort to use artificial intelligence to improve male sex toys. For those who may face confirmation before the Senate Judiciary Committee any time in the next decade, Nick explains that Markov chain techniques have nothing to do with the Devil's Triangle.

More hostilities in the US-China Cool War: DOJ has indicted a Chinese-state owned company as well as UMC and three individuals for stealing trade secrets from US companies; and in a coordinated move, the Department of Commerce has placed limits on US businesses interacting with the Chinese company. I wonder whether the Cool War between China and the US is increasingly forcing big foreign tech companies to choose between the two as they develop new technology.

Download the 238th Episode (mp3).

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