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The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

Monday’s Wall Street Journal article titled “Who’s Afraid of #CISPA?” harkens to what FDR said during his inaugural address, “let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Every mobile industry statistic underscores the significance of CISPA. Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, which will enhance America’s ability to avoid cyber-attacks and protect consumers.

CISPA is the single most important thing Congress has done to help improve our nation’s cybersecurity profile with endorsements from companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle and other tech companies. In order to handle the significant consumer demand to access the mobile Internet anytime and anywhere, improved cybersecurity is a cornerstone to the industry’s value to the nation’s economy and consumers. Industry led efforts, in cooperation with the government, is the best formula for success since the wireless industry has a wealth of expertise, existing technology and standards and resources that focus on cybersecurity 24/7. The tools contained in CISPA are critical to unleash the technical resources that the wireless industry and government can bring to bear on the challenge without expanding the scope of the regulatory regime or an expenditure of all too scarce federal resources. As the Wall Street Journal editorial points out, using a quote from Speaker John Boehner, “You want to get the American people a little exercised, put the government in charge of the Internet.”

Without compromise to privacy, CISPA provides greater cybersecurity by permitting the private sector to leverage its own cyber resources in a coordinated way with government entities through information sharing, thereby improving protection for the nation’s systems, networks and consumers.

CISPA was an important first step in the House of Representatives. The Senate and the Administration should look to “convert retreat into advance” in order to safeguard the nation from what many describe as an eventual “digital Pearl Harbor.”

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