Dear [Member of Congress],
Americans for Computer Privacy is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 companies, 40 associations and 6,000 individuals. ACP led the private sector fight during the last few years to permit Americans to use and export strong encryption products. ACP is also working hard to ensure that our nation's critical information infrastructure is protected in the right way.
We thank you for Congress' critical support in persuading the Administration to adopt a modern, realistic encryption policy. We ask for your help to ensure a similar positive outcome with respect to critical information infrastructure protection.
The widespread use of encryption is an essential component of information security. But more needs to be done by the private sector. Critical information infrastructure protection ("CIIP") is essential for U.S. national security, American economic welfare, and our fundamental freedoms. ACP strongly believes that a voluntary cooperative partnership between industry and government is the only approach that can succeed in CIIP.
CIIP is best accomplished through private sector solutions that are market driven and industry led. The private sector developed, owns and operates those networks, products and services that make up the information infrastructure. The private sector also possesses the knowledge and expertise necessary to protect it. At the same time, the government must get its own house in order and lead by example. The government also must possess the resources necessary to fulfill its law enforcement functions.
For all these reasons, ACP strongly urges you to:
- Oppose the imposition of government standards or mandates to use particular technologies, or to prevent companies from using tools to test products, because this would stifle innovation and harm the very infrastructure that needs protection;
- Oppose attempts to use legitimate threats to computer security as a justification for granting to the government new powers of regulation, access or surveillance, because we believe the primary threat to the privacy of Americans at home and work is unwarranted and increased government monitoring and surveillance;
- Support legislation to facilitate the sharing of information about cyber vulnerabilities and remedies among private parties and with the government by providing enhanced protections for such information; and
- Support adequate funding to improve information security within the government and to strengthen the government's personnel and technological capabilities to address cyber crime.
We look forward to working with you and your colleagues.
Bruce J. Heiman