THE CASE – THE FROST FILES

Excerps from the Compromis 2016
Author: Asaf Lubin*

On the night of 2 February 2014, seven warehouses are set on fire in Amestonia. The warehouses store a significant amount of neuro-active insecticides. In total, five people die. On the asphalt outside the sites, the police find spray-painted images of a bee. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Riesland, Alice Silk, declares:

“In the present situation, it is important that we continue the agricultural trade with our Amestonian friends. Jointly, we will combat these acts of eco-terrorism. I have ordered Riesland’s intelligence services to direct their operations against this new threat to both of our countries.”

On 16 October, the Rieslandic Intelligence Bureau informs the Amestonian government that they have succeeded in identifying a ring of Amestonian environmental activists who have been plotting to contaminate a large shipment of honey, intended for consumption in Riesland. The following day, Riesland declares a Terrorism Alert.

On the morning of 16 December, Frederico Frost, an analyst for the Rieslandic Intelligence Bureau, drives to Amestonia, where he hands over a USB drive containing nearly 100,000 highly classified documents to the law firm Chester & Walsingham. Shortly thereafter, he gives a copy of the files to The Ames Post, Amestonia’s biggest newspaper. In a statement, Frost addresses the general public:

“My name is Frederico Frost. I work as an analyst for the Rieslandic Intelligence Bureau. I have come to realize how our Rieslandic surveillance programs threaten individual liberties and sovereign equality. I am compelled to talk about this! If we are going to trade liberty for security, the public should make these decisions, not politicians.”

Thousands of the highly classified documents are published on the website of The Ames Post. One of the documents heads “The Verismo Program”: The Rieslandic Intelligence Bureau has installed a recording pod on an undersea cable. All of the Amestonian citizens’ internet and telephone communication passing through this cable is copied and transferred to the Bureau’s servers. The Amestonian President Jonathan Hale states at a press conference:

“I am deeply troubled by reports that Riesland has, for decades, engaged in a concerted surveillance campaign targeting our citizens. Any claims that such programs are necessary to combat terrorism simply ring hollow. No matter how severe any perceived threat to Riesland’s national security, there is absolutely no justification for the systematic infringement of our citizens’ privacy. Simply put: gentlemen do not read each other’s mail, and friends do not spy on friends.”

On 2 February 2015, Riesland demands the immediate extradition of Frederico Frost and the return of the documents revealed by him. Amestonia refuses. Shortly thereafter, both the computer networks of The Ames Post and of Chester & Walsingham are hacked and disabled. Nearly 90% of the information is “non-recoverable.” The cyber attacks can be traced back to IP addresses of the Rieslandic government.

In the early 1990s, Riesland and Amestonia sign the “Broadcasting Treaty” as an expression of their friendship. Pursuant to the treaty, Riesland is permitted to operate a television station in Amestonia: “The Voice of Riesland” is established. One of its most popular shows is the news program “Tea Time with Margaret”.

 

On 16 February 2015, The Ames Post’s headline reads: “Margaret the Spy!” Further, the article explains:

According to the Frost files, Riesland is using the station “Voice of Riesland” to collect intelligence on Amestonian politicians and public figures. It seems that the host Margaret Mayer is part of an operation called the “Carmen Program”. Whenever interviewees appear on her show, malware is installed on their deposited electronic devices, providing the Rieslandic Bureau full remote access to these devices.

That same evening, Amestonian police search the TV station. Upon arrival, 01:22 the police find the station unattended. At 3:15 a.m., Amestonia’s Border Patrol arrests Margaret Mayer on a night train, trying to cross into Riesland. The allegation being: suspicion of espionage. The allegation: she is suspected of espionage.

You can download the full text of the Compromis here:
2016 Jessup Compromis

*ASAF LUBIN
(2016 Jessup Moot Court Compromis Author)
Asaf Lubin is a J.S.D. candidate at Yale Law School and a Resident Fellow with the School’s Information Society Project. His research focuses on the regulation of intelligence collection and analysis under international law, with particular emphasis on the effects that technological advancements have had on the practice of espionage and the right to privacy in an age of mass governmental surveillance. His work draws on his experiences as a former intelligence analyst, Sergeant Major (Res.), as well as his vast practical training in national security law and foreign policy. Asaf’s work additionally reflects his time working as a Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellow with Privacy International, a London-based NGO that works to advance domestic and international policies aimed at strengthening effective privacy protections and data regulations while curtailing illegal surveillance.