In the modern day, every public venue, including movie theaters, government buildings, commercial centers, restaurants, sidewalks, roads and bridges anywhere in the world, is a potential terrorist target. Terrorists no longer come just from nations, governments or even organized movements; and terror could manifest itself in the shape of detonated bombs, espionage or biological warfare, among other techniques. To terrorists, who lack the quality of honor, the traditional law of war and its regard for the rights of civilians are passé.

Even more worrisome, terrorist attacks are often conducted by infiltrators, lone wolves (with causes, self-aggrandizement or martyrdom motivating them) or small cells that are difficult to detect and investigate. Plainly speaking, these terrorist acts might be akin to those of Timothy McVeigh, Osama bin Laden or Edward Snowden. This makes imperative the acquisition and sharing of intelligence by governmental agencies, both intra-nationally and internationally. But the threshold concern requires each sovereign to balance maintaining effective surveillance with protecting the privacy and civil liberties of citizens.

On November 17, The Federalist Society will host a panel titled Comparative Counterterrorism Surveillance and Cooperation by the International & National Security Law Practice Group as a part of the Society’s 2017 National Lawyers Convention. The panel shall discuss some of the most stimulating and demanding questions that Congress, domestic and international courts, and agencies confront.

Our panelists, listed below, have led these challenging efforts at the highest levels of their respective governments. They have kindly agreed to share their views:

  • Dr. August Hanning, Former State Secretary, The Federal Interior Ministry, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Mr. Robert Hannigan, Former Director, Government Communications Headquarters, United Kingdom
  • Hon. Michael Mukasey, Of Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and former United States Attorney General
  • Hon. Nathan A. Sales, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, United States Department of State
  • Moderator: Prof. Jamil N. Jaffer, Adjunct Professor, NSI Founder, and Director, National Security Law & Policy Program, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Please join this distinguished panel on Friday, November 17 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM in the State Room of The Mayflower Hotel to engage with this topic as the National Lawyers Convention pursues its theme of Administrative Agencies and the Regulatory State.

Click here to consult the convention schedule. To watch the convention live stream, visit this page beginning November 16.