September 2021 — Professor Amy C. Gaudion was selected to present at the 49th Annual Research Conference on Communications, Information, and Internet Policy, hosted by TPRC. The conference will take place virtually from September 22-24, 2021. Professor Gaudion will present her work-in-progress, “Answering the Cyber Oversight Call.” 

Amy C. GaudionTPRC promotes interdisciplinary thinking on current and emerging issues in communications and the Internet by disseminating and discussing new research relevant to policy questions in the U.S. and around the world. It serves researchers, policymakers, and members of the private sector and civil society, from students to well-established practitioners. Every year, TPRC brings together a diverse, international group of researchers from academia, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations to challenge each other’s ideas and to interact with policy makers and members of the private sector. The conference format consists of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and paper presentations, all with audience interaction. Click here for more information on TPRC and the 2021 conference. 

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.

Amy C. Gaudion is the associate dean for academic affairs and professor of lawyering skills at Penn State’s 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.