Foreign Policy

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Iran is Winning the War for Dominance of the Middle East

There is a continuous battle for Middle Eastern dominance, with the two loose coalitions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, neither of whom have any solid grasp of what good governance would resemble in the region. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis says that despite the highly regional localized struggle, the U.S. should "take particular care in this conflict."

Sure, it’s bizarre to see the U.S. military working with Iran to battle the Islamic State in Iraq, while working against Tehran in Yemen. It’s also refreshing. This isn’t a homily; it’s foreign policy. It’s encouraging to see the United States operating around the edges of a complex, multiparty conflict and finding ways to advance American interests.

Read Cambanis's full article.

Tags: saudi arabia, middle east violence, middle east conflict, iran

As Encryption Spreads, U.S. Grapples with Clash between Privacy, Security

April 10, 2015 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

For months, federal law enforcement agencies and industry have been deadlocked on a highly contentious issue: Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers? TCF fellow Bart Gellman co-authored an article with Ellen Nakashima examining the debate surrounding the issues of privacy and security.

Those taking part in the debate have polarized views, with advocates of default commercial encryption finding little common ground with government officials who see increasing peril as the technology becomes widespread on mobile phones and on text messaging apps.

Read Gellman and Nakashima's full article in the Washington Post.

Tags: security, privacy, encryption, apple

What’s Behind the FBI’s Obsessive “Stingray” Secrecy?

April 9, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

We know police departments are using Stingray technology to obtain evidence without proper permission from courts, but the FBI continues to conceal evidence of its use.

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Lack of a Real Obama Scandal Means Focus Turns to Hillary Clinton’s E-mail

March 13, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Since news first broke that Hillary Clinton used a private email account during her time as Secretary of State, a media frenzy has continued to surrounded the issue. TCF fellow Michael Cohen suggests that the reason why the "scandal" has received so much attention is largely owing to the fact that the Obama administration has all but been scandal-free, especially in comparison to his predecessors of recent decades.

All of this is not to say that Hillary’s e-mail scandal is a real scandal. And a popular presidential aspirant is not going to be derailed because she may have strayed from federal record keeping laws. But the whiff of scandal will almost certainly continue to surround her candidacy. It is, fairly or not, seemingly endemic to the Clintons. That Obama has so far been able to avoid the same pitfalls as his predecessors — in light of such strong organized opposition from Republicans — may be the most remarkable aspect of his presidency.

Cohen's article can be found in the Boston Globe..

Tags: state department, president, obama, michael cohen, hillary clinton, boston globe

Are You Being Followed by a Stingray?

March 13, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF fellow Barton Gellman and policy associate Sam Adler-Bell sat down to discuss a controversial surveillance device known as the “Stingray.”

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How National-Security Reporter Barton Gellman Protects His Sources

TCF fellow Barton Gellman has been using encryption and anonymity tools for over a decade now. In an interview with The Daily Dot, Gellman talks the free and open source tools that he is currently turning to for his own security needs.

Barton Gellman’s security tools
  • Peerio
  • PGP
  • Pond
  • SecureDrop
  • Signal, TextSecure
  • Tails
  • Tor

Read Gellman's recommendations discussed in the interview here.

Tags: surveillance, snowden nsa, snowden, security, privacy, nsa, encryption, barton gellman, bart gellman

 

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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