Cybersecurity and Freedom on the Internet

Cybersecurity has become a national imperative and a government priority. Increased cybersecurity will help protect consumers and businesses, ensure the availability of critical infrastructures on which our economy depends, and strengthen national security. However, cybersecurity efforts must be carefully tailored in order to preserve privacy, liberty, innovation, and the open nature of the Internet.2 To design an effective and balanced cybersecurity strategy, each part of the country’s critical infrastructure3 must be considered separately. Solutions that may be appropriate for the power grid or financial networks may not be suitable for securing the public portions of the Internet that constitute the very architecture for free speech essential to our democracy. Policy toward government systems can be much more prescriptive than policy toward private systems. The characteristics that have made the Internet such a success – its openness, its decentralized and user-controlled nature, and its support for innovation and free expression – may be put at risk if heavy-handed policies are enacted…


By Gregory T. Nojeim

Gregory T. Nojeim is a Senior Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Director of its Project on Freedom, Security & Technology. CDT is a Washington-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. In this capacity, Mr. Nojeim conducts much of CDT's work in the areas of national security, terrorism, and Fourth Amendment protections. Nojeim is also Co-Chair of the Coordinating Committee on National Security and Civil Liberties of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the American Bar Association.

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