President-elect George W. Bush
Bush-Cheney Transition Office
1800 G Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear President-elect Bush:
Americans for Computer Privacy is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 companies, 40 associations and 6,000 individuals (a list of members is attached). ACP led the 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 your support on encryption and ask for your help with respect to critical information infrastructure protection.
As you have recognized, encryption is an essential component of information security. We greatly appreciated your statements during the campaign in support of the ability of Americans citizens to encrypt information without fear of government intrusion and to allow American companies to sell their encryption products worldwide.
But more needs to be done. 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;
- 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.
Finally, ACP also welcomed your statements of concern during the campaign about the privacy of information in today's electronic world. We believe the primary threat to this privacy is unwarranted and increased government monitoring and surveillance of Americans at home and work. We strongly urge you to oppose attempts to use legitimate threats to computer security as a justification for granting to the government new powers of regulation, access or surveillance.
We look forward to working with you and your Administration in the years ahead.
Bruce J. Heiman