Matthew Dahl

Matt Dahl is a judicial clerk in Virginia and writes about national security law on his blog. The views expressed here are his own.



By / 6.6.2011

Last week reports emerged about attempted cyber attacks against the internal networks of three major U.S. defense contractors: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, and Northrop Grumman. All of the attempted hacks tried to access the companies’ internal networks using compromised remote-access security tokens, which are believed to be linked to yet another hack that occurred at […]


By / 11.12.2010

It goes without saying that National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command are playing a significant role in defending military and government computer networks.  It appears they’re now playing a role defending domestic U.S. civilian computer networks as well.  In past statements, General Keith Alexander – head of NSA and Cyber Command – said that […]


By / 10.14.2010

How should the United States handle the case of an American citizen encouraging jihadist-style violence against his countrymen?  It’s easy for the US to launch Predator drone strikes against foreign al Qaeda members in holed up in Pakistan, but what legal precautions are necessary when other Americans are in the Predator’s crosshairs?  This is the […]


By / 7.8.2010

On Tuesday, the federal government fired its first legal shot at Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The law as it stands now is slightly less stringent than it was in its original form.  The original law allowed law enforcement officers to inquire into the immigration of anyone that they contacted. The amended law does not allow […]


By / 7.6.2010

There is no freedom more sacrosanct in the U.S. legal system than the First Amendment right to free speech. The First Amendment protects speech that a lot of people may find offensive: pornography, violent movies, even hate speech. The Supreme Court is fiercely protective of the right, and does not hesitate to strike down any […]


By / 5.27.2010

In 2008, the Supreme Court decided that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay had the constitutional right to challenge the legality of their detention. Thus ended the question of whether all detainees in the fight against terrorism had a right to habeas corpus, right? As with all complex legal questions, the answer is never that simple. […]


By / 5.12.2010

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad has revitalized the conversation about the legal rights of terrorism suspects apprehended in the U.S. In February, I wrote that a public safety exception to ordinary Miranda procedures exists, and called it a useful tool in terrorism cases because it could allow for interrogation of terrorism suspects for a reasonable period […]