Robert B. Silvers


Rethinking FISMA and Federal Information Security Policy

Robert B. Silvers

In this Note, the author offers a broad-based critique of the statutory scheme that governs how the federal government must safeguard data on its information systems. Examining two illustrative case studies from major federal agencies, the author identifies serious structural flaws in the design and implementation of the relevant legislation. Through the lens of bureaucratic and organizational theory, he explains why the legislation is not well-suited to achieving comprehensive information security-and why the federal government’s track record in this area has been so poor. Finally, the author proposes five concrete reforms Congress should enact to address these shortcomings.

Professor Ronald Dworkin

Jeremy Waldron, Lewis A. Kornhauser, The Honorable Stephen Breyer, T.M. Scanlon, Rebecca L. Brown, Liam Murphy, Robert B. Silvers, Thomas Nagel

Last year, the NYU community lost an intellectual giant in Professor Ronald Dworkin. The school and the Law Review joined together to honor Professor Dworkin’s writings, ideas, and of course, his legendary colloquia. Academics, philosophers, and judges gathered to pay tribute. In the pages that follow, we proudly publish written versions of those tributes.1 The ceremony closed with a short video clip of one of Professor Dworkin’s last speeches, titled Einstein’s Worship. His words provide a fitting introduction:

“We emphasize—we should emphasize—our responsibility, a responsibility shared by theists and atheists alike, a responsibility that we have in virtue of our humanity to think about these issues, to reject the skeptical conclusion that it’s just a matter of what we think and therefore we don’t have to think. We need to test our convictions. Our convictions must be coherent. They must be authentic; we must come to feel them as our convictions. But when they survive that test of responsibility, they’ve also survived any philosophical challenge that can be made. In that case, you burnish your convictions, you test your convictions, and what you then believe, you better believe it. That’s what I have to say about the meaning of life. Tomorrow: the universe.”