Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information

February 14, 2013 —


Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information


Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor
120 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001


9:05 – 9:25 a.m.
Denise Bell, Senior Symposium Editor, Journal of National Security Law & Policy
William M. Treanor, Dean, Georgetown University Law Center
William Banks, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of National Security Law & Policy; Professor, Syracuse University College of Law 

9:30 – 11:05 a.m.
Panel 1: Mapping the Ocean: The Fundamentals, Challenges and Applications of Big Data
Julie Cohen
, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (Moderator)
Sean Fahey, Vice President for Institutional Research, The Johns Hopkins University
Matthew Gordon, Forward Deployed Engineer for Legal Intelligence, Palantir Technologies
Daniel Weitzner, Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Decentralized Information Group; Policy Director for Technology and Society, World Wide Web Consortium

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Panel 2: Building Sturdy Harbors: A Forward-Looking Law and Policy Framework for Big Data
Laura Donohue
, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (Moderator)
Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School
Alex Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Counsel, Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Paul Ohm, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Trade Commission; Professor, University of Colorado School of Law; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

12:45 – 1:55 p.m.
Keynote Luncheon
Rajesh De
, General Counsel, National Security Agency

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Panel 3: Charting the Future: What to Expect from Big Data
Stephen Vladeck
, Professor and Associate Dean for Scholarship, American University Washington College of Law (Moderator)
Mary Ellen Callahan, Partner, Jenner & Block
Elisebeth Cook, Counsel, WilmerHale; Member, Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board
John Grant, Civil Liberties Engineer, Palantir Technologies
Adam Isles, Case Study Author and Managing Director, Chertoff Group LLC
Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology
Robert O’Harrow, Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post


Big data is transforming national security capabilities. Despite massive data-storage capacity and sophisticated analytical tools for processing data from myriad sensors, the rate of data collection is outstripping our ability to analyze it. Compounding this challenge is an outdated and piecemeal legal and policy framework governing how data is collected, stored, shared and used. The participants will address the challenges and potential of big data and chart a legal and policy framework for an evolving technology.

This event is sponsored by the Journal of National Security Law & Policy and Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown Law. 

Media interested in attending should email

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