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  • Backgrounder posted May 21, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., John Malcolm, Paul Rosenzweig Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

    The Real and Growing Threat of Terrorism Any debate about America’s counterterrorism capabilities must be conducted in the context of the actual terrorist threat the U.S. faces. Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation has tracked Islamist terrorist plots and attacks, which now, after the recent shooting in Garland, Texas, total 68.[1] This figure, however, does not consider…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer ICANN Reform: the Timings Off

    The dates don't work. The U.S.'s control over ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit that manages Internet domain names -- will expire before the government can make an informed judgment about how ICANN should function in the future. Last March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive…

  • Issue Brief posted January 26, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Reforming DHS: Missed Opportunity Calls for Congress to Intervene

    Late last year, President Barack Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would provide work authorization and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million unlawful immigrants. One of the side effects of that announcement is the distraction syndrome. In government, senior leadership focus on, at most, two or three issues at a time. When…

  • Issue Brief posted October 27, 2014 by David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig Continuing Federal Cyber Breaches Warn Against Cybersecurity Regulation

    Recent high-profile private-sector hacks have once again put a spotlight on the issue of cybersecurity.[1] This is a serious problem that requires legislation to improve the United States’ cybersecurity posture, but the U.S. should not reflexively adopt government regulation of cyberspace as a solution. There are concerns that such a response would not be cost-effective…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso Should Governments Control the Internet?

    The Internet is now critical to the U.S. economy. A recent Hudson Institute analysis estimated that the information, communications, and technology sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total growth of the U.S. economy from 2002 to 2007 – in other words, the sector was responsible for more than $340 billion of the $4.6 trillion increase in real gross output of the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 16, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, David Inserra Protecting Internet Freedom and American Interests: Required Reforms and Standards for ICANN Transition

    The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has contracted with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage core functions of the Internet since ICANN was established in 1998. ICANN is a private nonprofit corporation created to manage policy and technical features of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) in a…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig Crackdown on China spies overdue

    The Justice Department announced Monday that it had indicted five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on charges of cybertheft. According to the indictment, the five hackers systematically stole business secrets from American corporations — household names like Westinghouse, Alcoa, and U.S. Steel. The alleged thefts were not aimed at boosting Chinese national…

  • White Paper posted April 15, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig The Proposed Transfer of the IANA Function to ICANN

    This paper is substantially similar to, though somewhat modified from, testimony I presented to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, during a hearing on April 10, 2014. Introduction In March 2014, the Department of Commerce announced its intention to transfer the Internet Assigned Name Authority (IANA)…

  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2014 by David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig Cybersecurity Information Sharing: One Step Toward U.S. Security, Prosperity, and Freedom in Cyberspace

    The Internet is a powerful engine for growth and freedom, of which the United States has taken and continues to take full advantage. As everything from military systems to smartphones has become linked to the Internet, however, the number of bad actors seeking to attack or steal from those targets has increased dramatically. Hackers compromise, steal, or destroy hundreds…

  • Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Important Work to Be Done Before the U.S. Relinquishes Stewardship of ICANN

    The Department of Commerce announced on March 14 that it will give up its last bit of control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2015. As is often the case with government decisions announced late on a Friday, this decision is controversial. The U.S. has exercised light oversight of ICANN since it established the organization and…

  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig The Amash Amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill

    A proposed amendment to the pending Department of Defense appropriations bill being offered by Representative Justin Amash (R–MI) takes the wrong approach to an important question. Coming on the heels of the recent National Security Agency (NSA) scandal, the amendment would limit the federal government’s intelligence-gathering capabilities. At its core, the proposed…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 18, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig Congress Doesn’t Know Its Own Mind— And That Makes You a Criminal

    Imagine a criminal law that stated simply “do not use drugs.” Such a law would be absurdly vague and impossible to enforce. What about, for example, drugs taken by accident (because an individual did not know that his or her bourbon contained Rohypnol); or drugs that were not illegal (like aspirin); or drugs that an individual thought were legal but, contrary to his or…

  • Backgrounder posted June 17, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse, But It Is Reality

    Everyone in America knows that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” It is drummed into students from their first civics class in elementary school, so much so that it is a part of our cultural heritage. The phrase captures an important concept about culpability. It stems from a time when criminal law was grounded in morality and a shared understanding of wrongfulness and…

  • Issue Brief posted June 13, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Government Cyber Failures Reveal Weaknesses of Regulatory Approach to Cybersecurity

    Last year, the Senate twice voted down the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 because of concerns that a regulatory approach might harm U.S. cybersecurity efforts. Despite these concerns, President Obama issued a cybersecurity executive order that uses a regulatory or standards-based approach to require additional security from private-sector organizations. The government,…

  • Commentary posted June 7, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig The NSA's Phone Collection Order -- It May be Legal, but is it Wise?

    The revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA) has secured a court order directing Verizon to provide it with call data has sparked controversy. And, rightly so. If the order is genuine (and nobody has denied that it is), it reflects a significant expansion of America’s surveillance apparatus – one that should at a minimum be closely examined. First, some…