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Laura Donohue

Professor of Law

A.B., Dartmouth; M.A., University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; Ph.D., Cambridge University; J.D., Stanford

Areas of Expertise:

Communications and Technology Law, Comparative and Foreign Law, Constitutional Law, Legal History, National Security, Military, War and Peace, Privacy

Laura K. Donohue is a Professor of Law at Georgetown Law, Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law, and Director of the...

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Laura K. Donohue is a Professor of Law at Georgetown Law, Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law, and Director of the Center on Privacy and Technology. She writes on constitutional law, legal history, emerging technologies, and national security law. Her most recent book, The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2016), was awarded the 2016 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. She also has written The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2008); and Counterterrorist Law and Emergency Law in the United Kingdom 1922-2000 (Irish Academic Press, 2007). 

Professor Donohue's articles have been published by California Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Stanford Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and other scholarly journals.

In November 2015, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appointed her as one of five amici curiae under the 2015 USA FREEDOM Act.

Professor Donohue is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an Advisory Board Member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center; and a Member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security. She is a Senior Scholar at Georgetown Law's Center for the Constitution.

Donohue obtained her AB in Philosophy (with Honors) from Dartmouth College; her MA in Peace Studies (with Distinction) from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; her JD (with Distinction) from Stanford Law School; and her PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, England.

Recent Scholarship

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Laura K. Donohue, A Tale of Two Sovereigns: Federal and State Use and Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, in Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Kimon P. Valavanis & George J. Vachtsevanos eds., 2d ed. forthcoming).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Books

  • Laura K. Donohue, The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age (New York: Oxford University Press 2016).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Laura K. Donohue, The Fourth Amendment in a Digital World, 71 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 533-685 (2017).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Original Fourth Amendment, 83 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1181-1328 (2016).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
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All Scholarship 2001 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Laura K. Donohue, A Tale of Two Sovereigns: Federal and State Use and Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, in Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Kimon P. Valavanis & George J. Vachtsevanos eds., 2d ed. forthcoming).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Books

  • Laura K. Donohue, The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age (New York: Oxford University Press 2016).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty (New York: Cambridge University Press 2008).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers in the United Kingdom, 1922-2000 (Portland, Or.: Irish Academic Press 2001).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Laura K. Donohue, The Fourth Amendment in a Digital World, 71 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 533-685 (2017).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Original Fourth Amendment, 83 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1181-1328 (2016).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, High Technology, Consumer Privacy, and U.S. National Security, 4 Am. U. Bus. L. Rev. 11-48 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Section 702 and the Collection of International Telephone and Internet Content, 38 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 117-265 (2015).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Terrorism Trials in Article III Courts, 38 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y: Federalist Edition 105-143 (2015).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Dawn of Social Intelligence (SOCINT), 63 Drake L. Rev. 1061-1112 (2015).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Nadine Strossen & Gabriel Schoenfeld, Panel, Eyes and Ears Everywhere - Privacy in an Age of Government and Technological Intrusion, 63 Drake L. Rev. 1171-1175 (2015).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Bulk Metadata Collection: Statutory and Constitutional Considerations, 37 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 757-900 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, FISA Reform, 10 I/S: J.L. & Pol'y Info. Soc'y 599-639 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Biodefense and Constitutional Constraints, 4 U. Miami Nat'l Security & Armed Conflict L. Rev. 82-206 (2013).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, National Security Law Pedagogy and the Role of Simulations, 6 J. Nat'l Sec. L. & Pol'y 489-547 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Technological Leap, Statutory Gap, and Constitutional Abyss: Remote Biometric Identification Comes of Age, 97 Minn. L. Rev. 407-559 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Limits of National Security, 48 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 1573-1756 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Shadow of State Secrets, 159 U. Pa. L. Rev. 77-216 (2010).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Laura K. Donohue, The Perilous Dialogue, 97 Cal. L. Rev. 357-392 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Antiterrorist Finance 2.0, 10 Int'l Stud. Rev. 639-641 (2008) (reviewing Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Thomas J. Biersteker & Sue E. Eckert eds. 2008)).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, Constitutional and Legal Challenges to the Anti-Terrorist Finance Regime, 43 Wake Forest L. Rev. 643-697 (2008).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Terrorism and Trial by Jury: The Vices and Virtues of British and American Criminal Law, 59 Stan. L. Rev. 1321-1364 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Anglo-American Privacy and Surveillance, 96 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1059-1208 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Anti-Terrorist Finance in the United Kingdom and United States, 27 Mich. J. Int'l L. 303-435 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Terrorist Speech and the Future of Free Expression, 27 Cardozo L. Rev. 233-341 (2005).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Security and Freedom on the Fulcrum, 17 Terrorism & Pol. Violence 69-87 (2005).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, Mediating Terror, 5 Int'l Stud. Rev. 232-237 (2003) (reviewing Brigitte L. Nacos, Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counterterrorism & Combating Terrorism: Strategies of Ten Countries (Yonah Alexander ed., 2002)).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, 25 Stud. Conflict & Terrorism 203-205 (2002) (reviewing Jonathan B. Tucker, Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox (2001)).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, 116 Pol. Sci. Q. 656-658 (2001-2002) (reviewing Rodney Wallis, Lockerbie: The Story and the Lessons (2001)).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, Bias, National Security and Military Tribunals, 1 Criminology & Pub. Pol'y 339-344 (2002).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Laura K. Donohue & Juliette N. Kayyem, Federalism and the Battle over Counterterrorist Law: State Sovereignty, Criminal Law Enforcement, and National Security, 25 Stud. Conflict & Terrorism 1-18 (2002).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, Terrorism & Pol. Violence, Autumn 2001, at 190-191 (reviewing Christopher C. Harmon, Terrorism Today (2000)).   
  • Laura K. Donohue, In the Name of National Security: US Counterterrorist Measures, 1960–2000, Terrorism & Pol. Violence, Autumn 2001, at 15-60.   

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • Laura K. Donohue, Pandemic Disease, Biological Weapons, and War, in Law and War 84-153 (Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas & Martha Merrill Umphrey eds., Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press 2014).    [Gtown Law]
  • Laura K. Donohue, US Efforts To Stem the Flow of Funds to Terrorist Organizations: Export Controls, Financial Sanctions and Material Support, in Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets 261-290 (Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Limited 2014).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Transplantation, in Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy 67-87 (Victor V. Ramraj, Michael Hor & Kent Roach eds., New York: Cambridge University Press 2d ed. 2012).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Anti-Terrorism Legislation: Civil Liberty and Judicial Alteration, in Democratic Responses to Terrorism 101-156 (Leonard Weinberg ed., New York: Routledge 2008).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Britain's Counterterrorism Policy, in How States Fight Terrorism: Policy Dynamics in the West 17-58 (Doron Zimmermann & Andreas Wenger eds., Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers 2007).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Terrorism and the Counter-Terrorist Discourse, in Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy 13-36 (Victor V. Ramraj, Michael Hor & Kent Roach eds., New York: Cambridge University Press 2005).    [BOOK]
  • Laura K. Donohue, Fear Itself: Counterterrorism, Individual Rights, and U.S. Foreign Relations Post 9-11, in Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment: Readings and Interpretations 313-338 (Russell D. Howard & Reid L. Sawyer, eds. Guilford, Conn.: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin rev. 2004).    [BOOK]

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

  • Brief of Scholars of the History and Original Meaning of the Fourth Amendment as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner, Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402 (U.S. Aug. 14, 2017).    [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Brief of Amici Curiae Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Thirty-Six Technical Experts and Legal Scholars in Support of Respondents, City of Los Angeles v. Patel, No. 13-1175 (U.S. Jan. 30, 2015).   
  • Brief of Amici Curiae Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Thirty-Two Technical Experts and Legal Scholars in Support of Respondent, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339 (U.S. Sept. 8, 2015).   
  • Brief of Amici Curiae Electronic Privacy Information Center and Twenty-Six Technical Experts and Legal Scholars in Support of Respondent, Maryland v. King, No. 12-207 (U.S. Feb. 1, 2013).    [W]

Congressional Testimony

  • Cross Border Data Flows: Could Foreign Protectionism Hurt U.S. Jobs?: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Commerce, Mfg. & Trade of the H. Comm. on Energy & Commerce, 113th Cong., Sept. 17, 2014 (Statement of Laura K. Donohue) (CIS-No.: 2015-H361-61).    [WWW]
  • Continued Oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 113th Cong., Oct. 2, 2013 (Statement of Laura K. Donohue) (CIS-No.: Pending).    [WWW]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Paul Manafort wiretaps called political move," in the Washington Times, September 22, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue

"Embassy of Switzerland Convenes Experts to Discuss Data Security at National Archives, Announces Launch of Swiss Touch Campaign in U.S.," coverage by Nasdaq Globe Newswire, June 16, 2017, quoting Professor Laura K. Donohue.

"Here’s Why Trump Can Fire Robert Mueller: The Law That Would’ve Stopped Him Expired In 1999," coverage by International Business Times, June 13, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Comey says Trump fired him to undermine FBI Russia investigation," coverage by Reuters, June 8, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Trump, Comey and obstruction of justice," a Constitution Center podcast, June 5, 2017, with Professor Laura Donohue.

View all News

All News

"Paul Manafort wiretaps called political move," in the Washington Times, September 22, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue

"Embassy of Switzerland Convenes Experts to Discuss Data Security at National Archives, Announces Launch of Swiss Touch Campaign in U.S.," coverage by Nasdaq Globe Newswire, June 16, 2017, quoting Professor Laura K. Donohue.

"Here’s Why Trump Can Fire Robert Mueller: The Law That Would’ve Stopped Him Expired In 1999," coverage by International Business Times, June 13, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Comey says Trump fired him to undermine FBI Russia investigation," coverage by Reuters, June 8, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Trump, Comey and obstruction of justice," a Constitution Center podcast, June 5, 2017, with Professor Laura Donohue.

"The electoral college gave Trump top-secret security clearance. Here's how it works for everyone else.," coverage by The Washington Post, May 16, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue. This story is also reported in the Chicago Tribune.

"Trump 'tapes'? President likely in legal rights to record conversations," coverage by Fox News, May 15, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.  This story also appeared in JD Journal.

"What we pay for when we pay for a special investigation," coverage by Marketplace, May 12, 2017, an interview Professor Laura Donohue.

"Democrats are demanding a special prosecutor on Russia. What does that mean?," coverage by by 89.3 KPCC (Southern Cal.), an interview with Professor Laura Donohue.

"Warrantless Search of 900 Students,"  a podcast by Bloomberg Law, May 2, 2017, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"Do You Know How Much Private Information You Give Away Every Day?" an article by Yahoo! Tech, March 29, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Will Trump's Wiretap Claim Prove True?" coverage by USNEWS.com, March 7, 2017, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.  

"Why Electronic Surveillance Reform is Necessary," coverage in Third Way, and republished by Lawfare, February 28, 2017, quoting from a 2016 Professor Laura Donohue article.

The American Bar Association announced on February 27, 2017 its annual National Institute on White Collar Crime (March 8-10, 2017), featuring Professor Laura Donohue, director, Center on National Security and the Law, as a panelist.

"Two books about government surveillance win 2016 Palmer Civil Liberties Prize," coverage by Chicago-Kent College of Law, December 12, 2016, featuring Professor Laura K. Donohue. For more on this story, see Illinois Tech Today.

"Washington Post Reports Huge Surge in Secret Electronic Surveillance Requests," coverage in Slate, October 24, 2016, referencing Professor Laura Donohue's Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy article.

"Legal Experts Say Law Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia Has Consequences," coverage by ABC News, September 28, 2016, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Digital Age Reshaping Privacy, Constitutional Protections," coverage by Bloomberg BNA, August 10, 2016, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

FBI/Apple privacy fight left out a major player: the data carriers,” coverage in CSO, May 11, 2016, quoting from Professor Laura Donohue’s Lawfare piece.

"A Camera in My Shower? Fine," coverage by Lawfare, May 4, 2016, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Using Data To Secure Networks: Optimizing Individual Privacy While Achieving Strong Security," coverage by Lawfare, May 2, 2016, a panel discussion which includes Professor Laura Donohue.

"The Lawfare Podcast: Intel Security's Chris Young on Cybersecurity and a Debate on Using Data to Protect Data," coverage by Lawfare, April 30, 2016, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"From insurance to surveillance: Experts debate privacy in the age of Big Data," coverage by The Daily Dot, April 7, 2016, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

Reporters, scholars among CSAD speakers,” coverage in The Collegian, March 31, 2016, mentioning Professor Laura Donohue as expert panelist for “Technology, Big Data, and You.”

Lunch Event! Using Data to Secure Networks: Optimizing Individual Privacy While Achieving Strong Security,” coverage in Lawfare, March 29, 2016, mentioning Professor Laura Donohue as speaker at a April 2016 Center for Democracy and Technology, Intel Security, Hoover Institution and Lawfare debate on “Using Data to Secure Networks: Optimizing Individual Privacy While Achieving Strong Security.”

"Study originalism intensively at Georgetown Law this summer," an opinion piece by Professor Randy Barnett, in The Washington Post, January 28, 2016, featuring Professors Laura Donohue and Lawrence Solum.

"Bill of Rights Day — and the return of the general warrant?," Overlawyered, December 18, 2015, featuring Professor Laura Donohue

"Spy court appoints new advisers under NSA reform law," coverage by The Hill, November 25, 2015, reporting that Professor Laura Donohue was appointed as a special standing adviser. Further coverage is in Ars Technica, PC World, and Law 360.

"Power Wars Symposium: Surveillance, Individual Rights, and the Obama Administration," November 5, 2015, a post to the Just Security online site by Professor Laura Donohue.

"The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post," coverage by LAWFARE, October 24, 2015, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"The Second Annual Cato Surveillance Conference," coverage in The CATO Institute, October 21, 2015, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"The Fourth Amendment and cybersecurity," coverage by Columbia Daily Tribune, October 11, 2015, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"Laura Donohue’s Comments at Cato Institution’s NSA Law Panel," coverage by Marotta on Money, October 9, 2015, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"Debate Over Limits Of Government Surveillance And The Future Of The Patriot Act," coverage by NPR's Diane Rehm Show, May 11, 2015, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"NSA privacy questions bound for SCOTUS," The Hill, May 8, 2015, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

Students Simulate Security Crises to Learn About Legal Implications, coverage in Stanford Lawyer, April 17, 2015, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

Debate over spying comes to Drake,” editorial in Des Moines Register, April 8, 2015, featuring Professor Laura K. Donohue.

"FBI: Plot to steal seed corn a national security threat," Des Moines Register, March 30, 2015, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"A Crisis Simulation Put Law Students in the Roles of the Nation's Top Decision-Makers," DCInno, March 30, 2015, quoting Professor Laura Donohue.

"The CDC Has Less Power Than You Think, and Likes it That Way," coverage on Time, October 17, 2014, features Professor Laura Donohue.

"State Supreme Court to hear cases at Marshall," coverage in West Virginia Record, September 5, 2014, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"Georgetown law professor to start off MU series," coverage in The Herald Dispatch (Huntington, WV), September 3, 2014, featuring Professor Laura K. Donohue.

"Georgetown law professor is first speaker in MU Amicus Curiae lecture series," coverage in The West Virginia Record, August 28, 2014, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

 "Hill Lawyer Runs New Georgetown Law Center on Privacy," coverage in The National Law Journal, July 21, 2014, featuring the Center on Privacy and Technology and Professors Julie Cohen, David Vladeck, Laura Donohue and Angela Campbell.

"N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images," coverage in The New York Times, May 31, 2014, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"Computer hacking tools continue to stump courts, Congress and law authorities," coverage in Lawyer Herald, April 15, 2014, mentions Professor Laura Donohue.

"Told Ya So: NSA's Collection of Metadata Is Screamingly Illegal," Forbes, January 24, 2013, mentioning Professor Laura Donohue.

"FBI’s Search for ‘Mo,’ Suspect in Bomb Threats, Highlights Use of Malware for Surveillance," coverage in The Washington Post, December 6, 2013, quoting Professor Laura Donohue. Her remarks were also cited in the International Business Times, December 9, 2013.

Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies, and Professor Laura K. Donohue, Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FISA oversight, October 2, 2013. The hearing was broadcast live on C-SPAN.

"NSA surveillance may be legal — but it’s unconstitutional," a piece by Professor Laura Donohue in the Washington Post, June 21, 2013.

"In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk," a segment on NPR's "All Tech Considered," June 19,2013, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"State photo-ID databases become troves for police," coverage in the Washington Post, June 16, 2013, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

"Key to Government's Monitoring Power Lies in War, Technology," coverage in the Washington Post, June 7, 2013, featuring Professor Laura Donohue and Adjunct Professor Marc Rotenberg.

"Call for More Video Cameras Spotlights Debate on Use," coverage in the Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2013, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

Professor Laura Donohue participated in a panel discussion on drones and domestic surveillance at the National Press Club, January 15, 2013. 

"We the People Should Judge," a contribution by Professor Laura Donohue to the New York Times Room for Debate discussion, "Time to End Military Tribunals?," November 18, 2012.

"Using Facial Recognition Software," a segment on WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show, August 22, 2012, featuring Professor Laura Donohue.

Recent News

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