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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

UCLA Moot Court Program Hosts Cybercrime Competition and Symposium: "Edward Snowden: Patriot or Traitor?"

One of the many hats that I wear at UCLA Law is that of being a problem developer for the UCLA Cybercrime Moot Court Competition. The competition took place this previous weekend, and twelve teams from nine schools competed. The University of Michigan came out on top, and UCLA was the runner-up. I had the opportunity to keep time for several rounds, and I thought that the competitors did an excellent job dealing with the problem (which consisted of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act issue based closely on the upcoming United States v. Aurenheimer case, and an invented Fourth Amendment issue concerning police searches of unsecured wireless networks).

This year marked the first time that the UCLA Moot Court program hosted a symposium in conjunction with the tournament. The topic of the symposium was Edward Snowden: Patriot or Traitor? Five panelists debated this question. Stewart Baker of Steptoe & Johnson and Judge James Carr, a federal judge from the Northern District of Ohio (and former Chief Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) argued Snowden was a traitor (although Baker made it immediately apparent that he was more comfortable with the claim that Snowden was a non-patriot, but not necessarily a traitor). Snowden's attorney, Jesslyn Radack, and Trevor Timm, the founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation argued that Snowden was a patriot. And the Snowden family's attorney, Bruce Fein, argued that Snowden was neither a patriot nor a traitor.

A recording of the full debate is available here.

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