Tag Archives: Surveillance

Advocate Ryan Hagemann quoted in The Intercept on cybersecurity

Advocate Ryan Hagemann was quoted in The Intercept, where he commented on the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

“We certainly would have liked more time to bring this issue to the attention of libertarians and conservatives. Unfortunately, the way the final bill was conferenced — keeping Chairman McCaul out of any substantive discussions and disregarding many of his concerns around the reconciliation process — moved it quicker than we anticipated,” wrote Ryan Hagemann of the Niskanen Center in an email to The Intercept.

Read the full article here.

The Investigatory Powers Bill won’t make us safer

For centuries, western civilization has been admired for its democratic institutions and general respect for civil rights—and rightfully so. Western powers have cherished human rights by ensuring that the governments both honor and protect essential liberties.

But in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, many of these virtues are being questioned, and may soon be abandoned. The right to privacy, in particular, is being cast aside by leading lawmakers,  ostensibly in the name of security. In other words, core western principles are being jettisoned simply out of fear. This is a vital mistake.

Politically motivated and shortsighted measures, like the Investigatory Powers Bill in the U.K. and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act in the U.S., are counterproductive to the foundational ideals of western democracy, and will make us less free and less safe.

Read the rest on CapX here.

Rand Paul Heads to the Races

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will announce the official launch of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in Louisville today. In a video released on Monday foreshadowing his announcement, Paul promised, “On April 7, a different kind of Republican will take on Washington.” But how different is Paul from the other likely Republican candidates? Is he really, as Time Magazine claimed, “The Most Interesting Man in Politics”?

While other more conservative candidates promise to return America to its past glory with tried-and-true policy proposals, Paul has staked positions on many issues that have the potential to remake the economy and Americans’ relationship with their government.

Economic opportunity—and what Paul sees as its catalyst, individual liberty—is a major theme that runs across Paul’s often unconventional positions.

Economic freedom zones are one of Paul’s favored tools to bring growth back to low-income communities. Following the lead of former Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY), these zones have lower tax burdens, lighter regulation, and reduced union work requirements. To inject more human capital into these labor markets, parents are given greater choice over their children’s educations, and entrepreneurial immigrants are welcomed.

Paul is working with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to roll back some of the most destructive aspects of the failed war on drugs. According to Paul and Booker, reforming mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes and expunging non-violent juvenile criminal records could lessen the long-lasting burdens felt by those entangled the American justice system. Current policy makes many people who do not pose threats to society unemployable—creating a cycle of economic immobility. As Paul arguedduring an address at Bowie State University, “If you smoked some pot or grew marijuana plants in college, I think you ought to get a second chance.”

Though Paul is not in favor of federal legalization of recreational marijuana, last month he co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to end the federal ban on medical marijuana, now legal in 23 states. This would allow patients, including veterans suffering from PTSD, to follow their doctors’ recommendations without fear of prosecution. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has already declared that he is running for president, also endorses a similar federalist approach to marijuana laws.

Paul’s battle against overcriminalization does not end with harsh drug sentences. He is a vocal opponent of civil asset forfeiture, which allows the government to take property from individuals without even accusing them of a crime. Paul is the sponsor of the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, which would require law enforcement agencies to show “clear and convincing evidence” that property was connected to criminal action before it could be seized.

Read the rest at the Manhattan Institute’s E21…

Advocate Andrew Published in the PanAm Post

Young Voices Advocate Andrew Woodbury was published in the PanAmerican Post on US-style surveillance in Canada.

The notion that citizens need to have their actions tracked and communications monitored at all times is inherently a US-American one. Increasingly, though, it has crept into Canadianism. After this latest episode, one can’t help but wonder: when is enough, enough?

Read the rest of the piece here.

If you’d like to speak with or book Andrew or any of our Advocates, please contact Young Voices now.