DownsizeDC.org
June 13, 2012
Congress Exaggerates & Exploits Crisis
By James Wilson

Thanks to your efforts, Congress is having a hard time drafting a privacy-invading, jobs-destroying, "cybersecurity" bill.

If we are to safeguard our privacy and economic liberty, we must intensify the pressure.

That's why I sent this letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org's Hands Off the Internet campaign.

You may borrow from or copy this letter.

You and your colleagues LOVE a crisis...

* Lead paint in toys! You gave us the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
* Medical care cost crisis. You gave us Obamacare.
* Financial meltdown. You gave your cronies bailouts and passed Dodd-Frank.
* A few food poisoning incidents. You gave us the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act.  

These four, recent crises had two things in common...

* The new law killed productive sector jobs, even closed businesses.
* But the new law didn't really provide protection.

In two of the above incidents, Congressional regulations were primary contributors to the calamity.

In the other two, the threat was greatly exaggerated, if not non-existent.

In each case, you embraced the crisis. You pretended that YOU were needed -- that ONLY YOU could make it better.

Perhaps that's why Senator Harry Reid could make the fear-mongering suggestion that...

Cyberthreats represent "a different kind of attack that could be even more destructive" than 9/11.

Worse, no one on Capitol Hill suggests he should be wheeled off to the home when he adds...

Cyberattacks are the most serious challenge to U.S. security "since the onset of the nuclear age 60 years ago."

Listen, I don't know how big a threat cybersecurity really is. But I seriously doubt you know either.

And I have ZERO confidence that you and your colleagues have the expertise to address it competently.

Given your track record, why should I have faith? How can I trust you when both parties are drafting harmful bills?

* CISPA, which passed the Republican House, gives the feds broad new powers. They can invade our privacy, even for non-cybersecurity related activities.
* With the Lieberman-Collins bill, Senate Democrats and the White House are proposing jobs-destroying mandates and regulations.

Gosh this is basic, but apparently it must be asked...

Don't you know that private firms and those who control "critical infrastructure" already have an interest in protecting themselves from cyber-attacks? Are they too dumb to know they need to look out for their interests?

When you impose mandates and regulations, these firms are forced to waste money complying with (often non-applicable) federal dictates, instead of investing in creative and innovative ways to actually protect themselves.

And, the Senate Republican "SECURE IT" act lives down to the worst GOP stereotypes. It... 

* threatens my privacy, encouraging private firms to spy on me for The State.
* rewards these firms for breaking their contracts with me.

Frankly, I'm embarrassed for you...

* Maybe you believe there's a real threat.
* Perhaps you think you're helping me.
* But these draconian bills, at best, prove Congressional incompetence.

Scrap ALL of them!

Freedom, not regulation, is the best way to achieve cybersecurity:

1) Firms are naturally disposed to compete, seeking to provide the best security AND the most privacy for their customers.

2) They're also likely to cooperate where it's in their interest to do so. Since security is part of their interest, I suspect they don't need your help.

3) If current laws break the honest attempts to share cyber threat information, then please remove these legal barriers. After all, if my home is burglarized, I should be free to warn my neighbors.

The best thing YOU and your colleagues can do is get out of the way. I think scare tactics are for bullies. And I do not consent to your exploitation of another exaggerated crisis.

END LETTER

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

If you agree with this message, we encourage you to forward it to like-minded friends.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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