In this age of rapid technological advances, having a dedicated team of lawyers help navigate the challenges and threats of national security is crucial. At Hogan Lovells, national security is baked into virtually all practice areas and industries, from clothing affected by the Uyghur forced labor bill, or the myriad impacts of the Ukraine war, or political conditions in a country of importance to a client. This podcast will provide an overview of key developments as well as informative segments on issues that are affecting the day-to-day goals of businesses and organizations.
Episode Sixteen| Outbound Investment Security
In this episode of the Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast, we are joined once again by our colleagues Brian Curran and Anne Salladin to discuss the release of the long awaited Executive Order (EO) on outbound investment screening. We discuss what is covered in the EO and the related Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Treasury that solicits input from the public on the proposed framework for the regime, including the expected timing for developing implementing regulations. Additionally, we delve into the three advanced technologies covered in the ANPRM: (1) semiconductors and microelectronics; (2) quantum computing; and (3) Artificial Intelligence.
Episode Fifteen| Information Flows and Secrecy: Where is the Chinese Foreign Minister
In this episode we discuss the strange continued disappearance from public view of Qin Gang, the Chinese Foreign Minister (FM), and former Ambassador to the United States. At the time of this recording, China announced that Mr. Qin was formerly removed as FM (although he still has not re-appeared in public), and his boss, Wang Yi, the Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), would act as FM. Mr. Qin’s disappearance was originally attributed to undefined health issues (which still remain the only official reason for his absence), but rumors have swirled that he was swept up in an anti-corruption dragnet, that Western or even Chinese intelligence services were behind his disappearance, or that this is all connected to a suspected affair with a Hong Kong based journalist. We examine the culture of secrecy in the CCP and the unsettling effect disappearances of Chinese government officials can have on international security and diplomacy and also compare and contrast other countries approaches to state secrets and withholding information from the public eye on the basis of national security.
Episode Fourteen | Nuclear Power
In this episode we are joined by Global Energy Practice Leader Amy Roma to discuss the nuclear energy industry. We discuss global trends in the transition away from fossil fuels and the supply chain security implications and benefits of nuclear power. We examine how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a strong emphasis on energy security and resilience for countries not just in Europe but all across the globe, including an uptick of countries looking into nuclear capability that have no prior history with nuclear power. We consider how the significant trade relationships associated with providing nuclear power technology can become friendships and alliances to exert geopolitical influence (and the national security implications of the U.S. not participating in the global nuclear market the way, for example, China and Russia are in sub-Saharan Africa). Finally, we explore the benefits of the latest generation of nuclear reactors (aka advanced nuclear reactors), recent developments in nuclear fusion, and the use of nuclear propulsion for space activities (including mining and deep space exploration).
Episode Thirteen | Quantum Computing
In this episode, like Ant-Man and the Wasp we dive into the quantum realm - specifically, quantum computing. We explain what a “qubit” is (a quantum bit) and how quantum mechanics could deliver exponential leaps forward in computer processing power and surpass conventional supercomputers. We discuss the Biden administration’s March release of National Security Memorandum 10 - which seeks to drive U.S. leadership in quantum information science while also acknowledging the threat large scale quantum computers will pose to today’s encryption standards – while also touching on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) efforts to develop a post-quantum cryptographic standard. Finally, we touch on other emerging quantum technologies, such as quantum sensing (which could improve improvements in submarine detection capabilities), and quantum communications (including China’s reported construction of a quantum communications network).
Episode Twelve | Open Source Intelligence
In this episode, we explore the potential of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which is publicly available information including (as discussed in our prior episodes) the social-media posts, smartphone photos, commercial drone videos, and commercial satellite imagery used by Ukraine to locate and target Russian forces. We discuss the challenges of integrating unclassified OSINT with more traditional forms of classified intelligence information. We address the fast-growing number of companies that are transforming publicly available data into OSINT, challenges faced by intelligence services with processing and analyzing the sheer volume of OSINT data available, and the fact that OSINT means keeping government clandestine operations secret is more difficult today (noting, for example, the social media furor over the Chinese spy balloons in US airspace a few months ago).
Episode Eleven | Artificial Intelligence
In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Scott Loughlin, co-lead of our global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI). We compare the emerging AI regulatory frameworks in the EU, UK, and the U.S. Our discussion ranges from the more traditional national security use cases for AI, such as autonomous/semi-autonomous weapon systems and drones, to more recent examples including ChatGPT, deepfakes, surveillance, and the potential for waging disinformation campaigns. We discuss the responsible use of AI, potential privacy concerns, and mitigating human bias when training AI models. Finally, we talk about how AI tools can be used in company insider threat programs (a topic we will pick up in later episodes) to detect workforce activity that may indicative of an insider threat.
Episode Ten | Classified Information and Leaks
In this tenth episode, in the wake of the developing news story around the classified information leaks by a U.S. Air National Guardsmen, we discuss what is (and is not) classified information, how the personnel security clearance (PCL) process works, and dispel some myths about the classified world. We walk through classification levels, and touch on controlled access programs, such as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and Special Access Programs (SAP). We then dive into the story of the current classified information leaks, comparing this to the leaks by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. We talk about how this story raises insider threat concerns and the consequences of the current leaks, including the possibility of a chilling effect on recent security clearance reform efforts.
Episode Nine | AUKUS and Submarine Technology
For the ninth episode, we discuss the March announcement that the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) security partnership will help Australia develop conventionally armed, nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). We go over the recent history of Australia’s position in the Indo Pacific and strategic thinking in recent years about Australia pursuing conventional submarines or nuclear powered submarines. We also address other potential areas of technological cooperation between the AUKUS parties, before diving into some specifics about the current Collins-class SSNs and the plans for these new AUKUS-SSNs.
Episode Eight | Outbound Investment Screening
In this episode, we are joined by partners Brian Curran and Anne Salladin from our International Trade and Investment team to discuss the anticipated “reverse CFIUS” regime from the Biden administration. We unpack the strategic rationale for creating an outbound investment screening regime that we expect will focus on key sensitive industries (e.g., semiconductors, AI, quantum-computing), and make some predictions on what the anticipated Executive Order will cover. Finally, we discuss the potential drawbacks of establishing such a “reverse CFIUS” process, including the challenges for U.S. industry as well as the U.S. government.
Episode Seven | Chinese Spy Balloons
In this episode, we discuss the outcry in Washington about the Chinese surveillance balloon discovered floating over Montana and the cancellation of U.S. Secretary of State Blinken’s trip to Bejing. We touch on the technical capabilities (and limitations) of balloons as surveillance platforms. We explore what these developments mean for increasingly strained U.S.-China relations, particularly in the wake of the announcement of expanding U.S. military access to bases in the Philippines and the AUKUS submarine deal with Australia.
As we recorded this episode, the U.S. announced American military pilots shot down an object off the Alaskan coast. Since recording this episode, the U.S. has now shot down two additional craft, one over Canada and the other over Lake Huron.
Episode Six | Critical Minerals and the Supply Chain
In this sixth episode, we are joined by our colleague Kelly Ann Shaw, former Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, as we delve into critical minerals and rare earths at the intersection of environmental policy, clean energy, electric vehicles, and military technologies. We explore national security concerns regarding the dependency of the U.S. manufacturing sector on foreign suppliers and processors, and vulnerabilities to supply chain disruptions. Finally, we drill down into U.S. Government efforts to stimulate domestic production and “friend shoring” initiatives with allied countries, as well as industry innovation in alternative product designs and recycling of components.
Episode Five | Hypersonic Technology
In this episode, we set the stage for future episodes on hypersonic missile technology, describing the technical differences between a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) and a hypersonic cruise missile, and the reasons that hypersonics are more challenging for missile defense systems. We explore the operational hypersonic weapons currently deployed by Russia and China and discuss the strategic implications that the United States, while it has many hypersonic programs still in development, does not actually have a deployed hypersonic weapon system. We discuss increased Congressional attention on hypersonic programs and the need to grow the industrial base to support hypersonic technology.
Episode Four | Battlefield Lessons from the Ukraine
In this episode, we discuss the Ukraine conflict’s impact on U.S. and allied defense spending including replacement of U.S. munitions stores to replenish High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition, Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems and Javelin anti-armor systems; Ukrainian success with commercial off the shelf drones; and Ukrainian use of open-source intelligence (social-media posts, smartphone photos, commercial drone videos, and commercial satellite imagery) to locate and target Russian forces.
Episode Three | UAS/Drones in the National Airspace
In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Lisa Ellman, head of our Global UAS practice, to discuss advancing UAS integration into the national airspace safely and securely. We discuss the advocacy activities of HL client Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) as the non-profit organization urges action related to ongoing industry regulatory and policy challenges; the legal architecture of counter-UAS detection and mitigation, including the importance of extending and expanding the Preventing Emerging Threats Act (PETA); and potential upcoming Congressional and White House actions to promote U.S. leadership in advanced aviation technology.
Episode Two | The Biden Administration's National Security Strategy
As the protection of the American people remains a top priority, partners Michael Scheimer and Timothy Bergreen discuss the Biden Administration's National Security Strategy for 2022 as well as the Department of Defense's National Defense Strategy in the second episode of the Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast.
They unpack what is (and isn't) described in these documents in terms of strategic competition with China and Russia and explain the Biden administration's priorities in domestic industrial policy and investment.
Episode One | U.S. and China Geopolitical Competition
The Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast's pilot episode delves deep into the U.S. and China's technological rivalry within the broader context of how to promote innovation, foreign investment, and cooperative research while also addressing national security concerns.
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Authored by Michael Scheimer and Tim Bergreen.