Running Interference: will democracy survive foreign cyber attacks?

For the final episode of our 3 part series on democracy and technology, I am bringing you a conversation with Professor Chimène Keitner on cyber interference in democratic elections, and international law. We talk about the challenges and shortcomings of international legal structures in recognizing and responding to cyber interference in democratic processes, we discuss the way that democracies are made vulnerable by digital products, and Chimène explains what happened in the infamous Russian interference into 2016 election–and what might be in store for our democratic process as we approach the deeply consequential 2024 US Presidential election.

Professor Chimène Keitner is the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International Law at UC Hastings, where she teaches courses on International Law; on Democracy, Technology and Security; and on legal approaches to Evidence, among many other topics. She is a leading authority on international law and civil litigation, and served as the 27th Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature with high honors from Harvard, a JD from Yale, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

She has authored two books and dozens of articles, essays, and book chapters on questions surrounding the relationship among law, communities, and borders, including issues of jurisdiction, extraterritoriality, foreign sovereign and foreign official immunity, and the historical understandings underpinning current practice in these areas.

Professor Keitner has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and as Co-Chair of the ASIL International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an Adviser on the ALI’s Fourth Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. She is also a founding co-chair of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Individual Responsibility in International Law., and a member of the state department’s advisory committee on international law.


This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Our head of research is Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

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