Intelligence, National Security, and Civil Liberties: A Conversation with the NSA

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Vester Hughes Auditorium, Caruth Hall, Lyle School of Engineering (map)

The controversy surrounding the National Security Agency has raised fundamental questions about intelligence and national security in a democracy.  Critics charge that the NSA undermines civil liberties in pursuit of national security, while defenders praise its aggressive intelligence efforts after 9/11 as an example of effective counter-terrorism.  This debate now comes to SMU.  On November 19 our campus community will enjoy a unique opportunity to engage this debate with one of the agency’s senior leaders, its Director of Compliance, who will address the agency’s recently disclosed and ongoing programs alongside a panel of national security experts.


UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: John Delong, Senior Portrait John DeLong is the Director of Compliance at the National Security Agency. Prior to his appointment in July 2009 as Director of Compliance, DeLong served as the Deputy Director of the NSA/CSS Commercial Solutions Center, which addresses the strategic needs of NSA/CSS and the national security community by harnessing the power of U.S. commercial technology. DeLong previously served in a joint duty position as the Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division at the Department of Homeland Security, where he applied his technical, operational, and policy expertise to a wide range of cyber security issues.

In previous positions, he has supported NSA/CSS Senior Leadership in various transformational efforts – advocating and leading the careful and efficient resolution of complex policy, technical, compliance and oversight issues. Over his career, DeLong has also developed and taught numerous classes at the National Cryptologic School in areas such as computer science and cyber security.

DeLong graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Mathematics and received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2005. He actively reads in the area of policy and technology, especially in the emerging area of instantiating legal and policy rules into complex information technology infrastructures.

NF-KahnJeffrey Kahn is Associate Professor of Law at SMU, where he teaches and writes on American constitutional law, Russian law, human rights, and counterterrorism.  His most recent book, Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists(University of Michigan Press, 2013), critically examines the U.S. Government’s No Fly List.   His work on Russian law includes Federalism, Democratization, and the Rule of Law in Russia (Oxford University Press, 2002), and his more recent research has focused primarily on the influence in Russia of the European Convention on Human Rights.  Before coming to SMU, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas P. Griesa of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division, United States Department of Justice from October 2003 until April 2006.  He is currently a visiting fellow-in-residence at McGill University, where he is co-authoring a casebook on national security law.

DSC_7285Joshua Rovner is the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics and National Security, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of Studies at the Tower Center for Political Studies. He is the author of the multiple-award winning Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011), a wide-ranging study about how leaders use and misuse intelligence.  He has written on intelligence before and after the September 11 attacks, strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possible responses to nuclear proliferation.  In addition to his continuing research on intelligence, he is currently working on issues relating to U.S. force posture in the Persian Gulf, the theory and history of counterinsurgency, and contemporary nuclear strategy.

EngelJeffreyJeffrey A. Engel (Moderator) is an award-winning American history scholar and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU. He is an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. Engel has authored or edited eight books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War(Oxford University Press, 2012); Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform: Problems, Progress, and Prospect (Military Bookshop, 2010); and The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 (Oxford University Press, 2009). He is currently writing Seeking Monsters to Destroy: How America Goes to War, From Jefferson to Obama (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); and a comprehensive diplomatic history of the first Bush Administration entitled When the World Seemed New: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H.W. Bush (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, forthcoming).

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations required.