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ABA Conference on Law Enforcement and Intelligence - Debrief

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and 
National Security - Law Enforcement and Intelligence Conference - 

The ABA's Standing Committee on Law and National Security is one 
of the more successful Committees to come out of the ABA.  It's 
conferences and early morning breakfast briefings and lectures 
are attended by some of the leading experts in the fields of 
National Security, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence and no small 
number of the beltway power elite.

I'm not sure if many people outside the legal community 
understand the degree to which attorney's have impacted and 
thrived in both the law enforcement and the intelligence 
communities.  In fact many, if not most, CIA case officers and 
station chiefs, as well as field operatives, are attorneys or 
have law degrees.  Other intelligence organizations are no 
different.  It should come as little surprise then if a committee 
of the ABA should happen to attract a surprising amount of 
intelligence professionals.

This conference was no exception.  Spooks, Feds, Legislators, and 
even a few Kooks were in attendance.  Members of the British, 
American, Canadian, and German intelligence communities were in 
attendance.  A colleague and I attended the majority of the 
conference and except where noted the reflections below are a 
summary of our collective notes and thoughts on the subject 
matter discussed.  I'm taking a broad view of relevance to 
cypherpunks, but I will omit that which seems clearly not of 
direct or somewhat indirect interest.

Part One:

A Changed World for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in the 21st 

Thursday, September 19

7:45 AM  Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 AM  Welcome Remarks
Paul Schott Stevens
ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security

8:30 AM  I.  An Overview of a Changing World.

*The Traditional Relationship of Law Enforcement, Foreign 
Intelligence and National Security (1945-1995):

*How Have Other nations Balanced Legal and National Security 
Requirements and Responded to a Changed World.

*The Changed Threats to U.S. National Security- New Problems and 

Elizabeth R. Rindskopf
Bryan Cave
Former General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency
Member, Standing Committee on Law and National Security

Ms. Rindskopf outlined the three classic "periods" of 
intelligence community and mission development in U.S. history 
and set the stage for the discussions to follow.

Interesting subjects she did touch on included section 715 of the 
Senate intelligence bill.  The section allows the law enforcement 
community to request assistance from foreign intelligence in 
collection efforts on foreigners outside of the United States.

The BNC and BCCI scandals were discussed as a backdrop of the 
hazards of law enforcement and intelligence separation.

Zoe Baird
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Atena Life and Casualty Company
Member, Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

Ms. Baird discussed the dangers presented by globalization and 
new technologies.  She highlighted the point that crime 
globalization often follows corporate globalization and the 
manner in which a single individual's ability to cause harm has 
increased in scope (The NYNEX Hack).  Also interesting was her 
discussion of the manner in which the more organized elements of 
criminal activity worked to take advantage of the very open 
society in the United States (Fund raising, publications, 
anonymous communications).

Those activities once merely violations of criminal law are, she 
argued, now increasingly national security concerns and that 
national security events impact elections in very dramatic and 
direct ways (Atlanta and Israel bombings as examples).

Crime, she pointed out, gets about an 80% response in the polls, 
where as "National Security and Foreign Policy" get perhaps a 3% 
response.  Merging these elements together serves an 
administration.  She also pointed out the trend toward making 
these issues generally more accessible to the public.  
(Specifically by use of language.  "Transnational threats"- which 
was a term of art for non-state terrorism and organized crime- 
becomes "Global Crime" or "Global Lawlessness."

Ms. Baird ended by asking how the firewalls between Law 
Enforcement and Intelligence could be rebuilt with these new 
considerations in mind.

I considered her a balanced cynic.  She managed to get across 
some very realpolitik notions without much murmuring from the 
(limited) civil libertarian crowd.

David Bickford
Former Legal Adviser to the British Intelligence Services (MI5-

Mr. Bickford has in past served as a conduit between British 
Intelligence services and the United States.  He is well known 
and respected among the American and European Intelligence 
communities.  Knowing Mr. Bickford I can also say that he pays a 
great deal of attention to who his audience is and speaks to 
their interests with disarming accuracy.  His discussion is 
important because it is a good insight into what the policy 
makers in the United States are looking at.

He began by highlighting the new international nature of crime.  
No longer is it confined to power blocs.  "Multi-jurisdictional 
illegality" is increasingly a concern.  New highspeed 
communications channels are a contributor and organized crime 
groups are possessed of extremely advanced administration 
abilities.  They are leaner and meaner because they use 
computers, encryption, communications, and use up less resources 
in administration.  The ability to make the organization smaller 
also makes it harder to penetrate.  In this environment, 
international cooperation is essential.  He called for more 
active and expansive extraterritorial jurisdiction for certain 
crimes, and lamented his own country's lack of enthusiasm for 
this concept though they are slowly "coming around."

His solutions included the labeling of organizations, even when 
they are not geographically based, as "illegal international 
organizations" and using all means to combat them.  He envisions 
a wide cooperation by the G7 to accomplish this, leaving such 
organizations with no safe haven.  Sanctions regimes formerly 
employed only as against "rogue states" and countries in disfavor 
should be employed to destroy these illegal international 
organizations wherever they are.  He indicated that the other G7 
states should build on the recent Clinton Executive Order which 
seizes the assets of such organizations which may be located in 
the jurisdictions of the G7.  He called for measures to deny 
these assets access to the major securities and international 
finance markets and proposed that only organizations like the NSA 
could confront and complete these tasks.  Intelligence, he 
argued, is the only organization that can keep up with 
international crime and as a result there should be developed 
court processes to introduce intelligence into criminal cases 
while protecting the more sensitive information (sources and 
methods) as irrelevant.  "Evil men" have taken an "early lead."

$500 billion a year comes out of the United States alone in money 
laundering.  400 billion in assets is attributed to drug cartels, 
80% of which are Cali Cartel assets.  There are over 250 
international Russian criminal organizations currently operating.

Mr. Phillip Heymann
James Barr Ames Professor and Director,
Center for Criminal Justice
Harvard Law School
Member: Standing Committee on Law and National Security

[Didn't find his comments particularly relevant]

II. Political Challenges in the World Environment

*Breakup of the U.S.S.R.

*Loss of National Sovereignty and Control by Nation States

*Erosion of National Legal Systems
Military Threats at the Subnational Level:
The Terrorism Dilemma

(This looked very much like the section given to the Soviet 
Analysts, who no longer have much of a job to do).

Mr. Morton H. Halperin
Senior Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations
Former Special Assistant to the President and
Senior Director for Democracy, National Security Council


Mr. Peter Rodman
Director, National Security Programs
Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom
and Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National 
Security Affairs

Mr. Rodman discussed the new "trans-national areas."  Terrorism, 
corruption, economic and criminal activity.  He discussed the 
side effects of collapsing empires (the rise of organized crime 
to enforce property and contract rights that cannot be enforced 
by the government, the shift of power to the local from the 
regional and executive areas) and discussed, in this context, the 
importance of avoiding petty squabbles over issues like trade and 
the like because they threaten the more important strategic 
cooperation that will be necessary to battle global and 
transnational criminal activity.

Ms. Jessica E. Stern
Lawrence Livermore National Laboraory and
Former Director, Russian, Uklrainian and Eursian Affairs,
National Security Council

Ms. Stern discussed the severe proliferation problems presented 
by a weak Russia, particularly the weakening of MPCA (Material 
Protection Control and Accounting).

11:15 AM  III.  Technical and Practical Changes in the Relevant 
World Environment

*Global Technologies Emerge
*"Equal Access" to Advanced Technology by State and Private 
* Change in Size, Type and Location of National Security Threats: 
Challenge for Modern Intelligence and Law Enforcement

Stewart Baker
Steptoe and Johnson
Former General Counsel, National Security Agency
Member, Standing Committee on Law and National Security

Mr. Baker's remarks were brief, but he discussed the evening of 
the odds with respect to government and private organizations 
caused by technology.

Admiral William O. Studeman
United States Navy (retired)
Former Acting Director of Central Intelligence

Admiral Studeman discussed "Information Warfare," pointing out 
specifically that advanced societies were more vulnerable because 
of their financial, banking and revenue system's dependence on 
computer.  Power, air traffic control, public safety and media 
were also mentioned in passing.

Admiral Studeman went on to call for more intense secrecy in law 
enforcement (not intelligence) as to collection methods and new 
technology.  He called passionately for funding for the DigiTel 
program as well as a "key escrow" policy.

Anthony Oettiger
Chairman, Program on Information Resources Policy
Harvard University

Mr. Oettinger was perhaps the only moderate speaker in the 
conference.  He discussed Executive Order 13010 (establishing the 
Critical Infrastructure Protection organization) and called for 
more private sector input in policy making (Banks, markets, 
businesses want to make their own security arrangements, and are 
not very interested in paying much attention to the suits at 
their door who claim 'Hi, we're from the government, we are here 
to help..'

He pointed out the difference between the movements in Airline 
Security (which is drifting from privately maintained, to 
publicly maintained).and Internet security (which is doing the 

He called for reasoned response to the new threats which did not 
commit expensive intelligence and law enforcement resources to 
combat the single hacker.  Proper threat assessing is important, 
and intelligence should be used to pinpoint the weak points.

Walter Pincus
National Security Affairs Reporter
The Washington Post

Mr. Pincus asked if (a lovely analogy to chicken little and 
osterages with their heads in the sand).  His most interesting 
remarks regarded the wisdom of dedicating such substantial 
resources to repell non-strategic efforts to disrupt networks.  
(Hackers, lone gunmen, etc.)  He questioned.  Doesn't, afterall, 
a strategic attack require much more preperation?  Should we 
really allow the personality of e.g., Louis Freeh, who has the 
capital dazzled from his glow, to direct these resources?

12:30 PM Luncheon
John Deutch
Director, Central Intelligence Agency
[Cancelled in the wake of the investigation into alleged CIA drug 
connections in California]

Part Two:
The Implications of a Changed World for a Set of Critical 

2:00 PM  IV.  Protections Against New High Tech Dangers; Problems 
of Encryption, Information Warfare and Computer Theft

[forthcoming - remainder of conference and analysis]