SUNDAY, 04/25/2021 | 4:00PM EDT

Foreign Affairs


Future Leaders

The World of Spycraft and

the Law of Nations


Sunday, April 25th, 2021 at 4:00pm EDT

Hosted on Zoom - the link and optional background materials will be emailed to you after registration


The notion that international law is moot as to the question of if, when, and how intelligence is to be collected, analyzed, and promulgated, has been repeated so many times that it has reached the level of a dogma. Many international legal thinkers today reject the idea that there are any customary rules or general principles of law that might govern the shadowy practice of spooks and saboteurs. In this presentation Dr. Asaf Lubin, Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, will propose a new and innovative legal framework for controlling the normative relationship between spy and spied, relying on a body of moral philosophy and intelligence ethics literature so far ignored by legal scholars. From non-official covers in clandestine human intelligence operations to cyber intrusions and mass digital interceptions, the proposed framework applies to all aspects of the daily activities of a sovereign nation's intelligence apparatus.

Foreign Affairs with Future Leaders is a series of youth-led discussions which analyze various international issues and topics by collaboratively addressing their most critical questions. They are co-hosted by the Onero Institute, the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority at GWU, the Women In International Security GW Student Branch, and the School for Ethics and Global Leadership.



Dr. Asaf Lubin is an Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a Fellow at IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR). He is additionally an affiliated fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and a visiting Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Federmann Cyber Security Research Center.

Dr. Lubin’s research centers around the intersection of law and technology, particularly as it relates to the regulation of cybersecurity harms, liabilities, and insurance as well as policy design around governmental and corporate surveillance, data protection, and internet governance. His work draws on his experiences as a former intelligence analyst, Sergeant Major (Res.), with the IDF Intelligence Branch as well as his vast practical training and expertise in national security law and foreign policy. Dr. Lubin’s work additionally reflects his time spent serving as a Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellow with Privacy International, a London-based non-for-profit devoted to advancing the right to privacy in the digital age and curtailing unfettered forms of governmental and corporate surveillance.

Prior to joining the Maurer School of Law in 2020, Dr. Lubin held numerous academic and governmental positions, including as an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, as a cybersecurity policy postdoctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, as an expert contributor to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Group for the Education for Justice (E4J) Module Series on Cybercrime, as an articled clerk for the International Law Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office of the Legal Advisor, and as an assistant to the Turkel Public Commission of Inquiry into the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010 established under the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Dr. Lubin holds a dual degree in law and international relations (LLB/BA, magna cum laude, ’14) from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Master of Laws (LLM, ’15) and a Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD, ’20) degrees from Yale Law School. He additionally attended The Hague Academy of International Law and interned for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Dr. Lubin has previously written on and taught seminars in public and private international law, cybersecurity and cyber risk management, torts law, international human rights and humanitarian law, and criminal procedure and counterterrorism. He has published with the Harvard International Law Journal, the Harvard National Security Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Chicago Journal of International Law, and written for Just Security and Lawfare.


Andrew Ma is a native of Seattle, Washington, and a third-year student at Williams College. He is majoring in Political Science and concentrating in International Relations, American Foreign Policy, Justice and Law Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. After graduation he wishes to pursue a career in international law.

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