May 9, 2012
Cyber-spying Bill Still Threatens
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "Regulation slows progress by freezing innovation. Once the government mandates how something must be done, companies can no longer experiment to find safer, more effective, less expensive ways to achieve the same result." - Harry Browne (1933-2006), Downsize DC co-founder 

The disastrous "cyber-spying" bill, CISPA, passed the House last month. 

Good news: The President threatened to veto it.

Bad news: Obama favors a Senate version that, in some ways, is even worse. The Senate will be considering it this month.

That's why I wrote this letter telling Congress to keep its hands off the Internet...

I oppose CISPA, the supposed "cybersecurity" bill that actually empowers the Megastate to grab my personal information for reasons that have nothing to do with cybersecurity.

It's a backdoor run around the Fourth Amendment. In your heart, you know that.

And the Lieberman-Collins bill could make it even worse. I would authorize unelected bureaucrats to impose regulatory mandates on private firms.

That provokes questions...

* Do you really believe that regulators will know more than each company's own engineers about the cyber threats those outfits face?
* Doesn't regulation impose compliance costs that an enterprise might otherwise spend on innovative cybersecurity solutions?
* Each company has an interest in protecting itself from cyber threats, doesn't it? Why then, is regulation necessary?

Regulation means inflexible, one-size-fits-all rules.

And it often means lost jobs.

Competition, however, promotes safety, quality, and innovation. Companies would create better cybersecurity defenses at lower cost over time.

It is possible that current federal law is outdated. It's also possible that current law ties the hands of both private firms and governments to protect themselves from cyber attacks. If so, follow Julian Sanchez's advice: allow narrowly-tailored information sharing that addresses cybersecurity threats only, yet protects my privacy. (

Neither CISPA nor Lieberman-Collins achieves this. Instead, they go in opposite directions.

Oppose both! And know that your vote is a Constitutional matter. Make the wrong choice, and I will tell others of your contempt for the Fourth Amendment and hostility toward job creation. 

I will be watching what you do.


You can send your letter using's Educate the Powerful System.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director, Inc.

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