My first SCALL Conference

A new year brings about a new series of goals and resolutions. Coming into 2021, I had a lot of professional goals I wanted to accomplish as a new law librarian. Despite it being early in the year, it quickly filled up with events and program ideas. One event to meet a professional goal was the Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) conference that took place on February 18th, 2021. The SCALL conference is full of law librarians and information professionals from all across Southern California and centers around a new topic each year. This was my first year attending and although it was held virtually, it did not disappoint. 

This SCALL topic this year was Data Privacy in the Age of the Cloud. The keynote speaker, Dr. Asaf Lubin, gave an incredibly charismatic and thoughtful presentation on Regulating Covert Intelligence, a topic that I had never really thought about. When we think of espionage or international spies, we may think of movies like James Bond and other spy movies. However, as Dr. Lubin showed us, the existing international laws regarding espionage leave many open ended questions regarding information gathering, particularly with data privacy. Dr. Lubin explains that “International law is about the peaceful resolution of conflicts. It’s about justice where justice was once trampled. There’s nothing in international law that can be related to lying and cheating and deceiving. The two are antithetical” Dr. Lubin has spent his life considering these important questions and how the international community should improve their policies. 

His presentation went further into the subject by introducing the new topic of “Intelligence Ethics and how the international community can implement these principles in the future.  The presentation was eye opening to the other SCALL participants who also never considered the subject before. Although much of the content was complex, he provided a simple description of the subject that was understandable and engaging. Dr. Lubin has spent many years developing his knowledge and is extremely passionate about the subject. 

The entire SCALL conference was full of well planned speakers and content. Although I don’t have a frame of reference for a traditional in person conference, I still feel like I got a lot of insight from the virtual event. If anything, this makes me excited to attend an in person conference in the future! 

For more educational resources please view:


•Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Surveillance Intermediaries, 70 STAN. L. REV. 99 (2018), 

•Jonathan Mayer, Government Hacking, 127 YALE L.J. 490 (2018), 

•Ari Ezra Waldman, Privacy Law’s False Promise, 97 WASH. U. L. REV. 773 (2020), 

Blogs and Other Publications:

•Asaf Lubin, SolarWinds as a Constitutive Moment: A New Agenda for the International Law of Intelligence, JUST SECURITY (Dec. 23,  2020),

Written by: Andy Valencia, Reference Librarian 

Andrea Valencia

By Andrea Valencia

March 05, 2021

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