Amy C. GaudionOctober 2021 — Professor Amy C. Gaudion was selected to present at the 2021 Cybersecurity Law and Policy Scholars Conference. The symposium took place on October 1-2 2021, and was hosted by the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Professor Gaudion presented her work-in-progress, “Answering the Cyber Oversight Call.”

The recent growth in the U.S. military’s cyber capabilities and the legal authorities governing their use have coincided with a weakening and dispersion of the traditional oversight mechanisms, namely Congress’s ability to check and constrain the use of military power. This combination — cyber capability expansion and cyber oversight retraction — inhibits Congress’s ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of the use and deployment of these evolving cyber powers. It obscures the use of such powers from the public as well.

Professor Gaudion’s work-in-progress explores how the “stealthy features” that characterize cyberspace operations have upset the traditional separation of powers constitutional scheme. Her work considers alternative players and mechanisms to take on the oversight task usually assigned to Congress, and proposes that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General be added to the list of suitable substitutes. She explains the inspector general’s distinctive ability to fill the gaps in the oversight structure and to effectively frame the issues needing further refinement to ensure the political branches are working to appropriately limit and guide the use of these potentially immeasurable new cyber powers.

The annual Cybersecurity Law & Policy Scholars Conference provides a dedicated forum for interdisciplinary scholars in the growing field of cybersecurity law and policy, to workshop papers, discuss research ideas, and share pedagogical approaches.

Amy C. Gaudion is the associate dean for academic affairs and professor of lawyering skills at Penn State Dickinson Law. Her scholarship focuses on national security law, cyberspace, and civilian-military relations, and she leads Dickinson Law’s national security and cyberspace programs.