I work in public policy, and civil liberties matter to me; I wondered with my Cato colleague Adam Theierer about 9/11′s havoc on citizen’s anonymity and privacy. Ten years later, I remain fascinated and worried by the exile of private enterprise from security policy. But given the disdain for free enterprise elsewhere–finance, insurance, health care, energy, telecommunications–emphasis of government over private security can’t be called a surprise today.
Therefore maybe I worry more than others about Washington’s tendency to overrule the discipline of free enterprise in such realms as airport security, proposals for a “kill-switch” for the Internet in event of cyberattack, “critical infrastructure” regulation, restricted access to our own critical energy resources, “net neutrality” interference with developing a robust Internet, antitrust regulation’s distortions of mega-scale infrastructure development, and the failure to liberalize spectrum for communications. Interventions like liability waivers for politically approved homeland security devices that fail also worry me.