NSA Surveillance: What Happens Next?

Key provisions of the controversial post-9/11 anti-terrorism law (including section 215, which authorizes the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ telephone calling records) are set to expire on June 1.  While the House has addressed the issue by passing the USA Freedom Act, the Senate is still dealing with competing proposals. In a ten-and-a-half-hour-long filibuster over the NSA surveillance programs, Sen. Rand Paul cited analysis by former CIA analyst and current Cato scholar Patrick G. Eddington. “Through his filibuster, Paul has all but assured that 215 will sunset — at least until Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess in early June,” notes Eddington.

Curbing the Militarization of America’s Police Forces

In the wake of backlash over the militarized police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama administration has announced a new executive order which restricts what equipment federal agencies can transfer to local police. According to Cato scholar Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America’s cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other—an enemy.

The Pros and Cons of a Guaranteed National Income

There is a growing consensus across the political spectrum that our current welfare system is not working as intended. Among the alternatives that have been gaining traction recently are proposals for some form of a guaranteed national income (GNI).  A new study from Michael D. Tanner argues that what sounds good in theory tends to break down when one looks at implementation. “There are serious trade-offs among cost, simplicity, and incentive structure,” says Tanner. “Attempts to solve problems in one area would raise questions in others.”

Sen. Jeff Flake to Address Cato University 2015

We are delighted to announce that Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) will be a featured speaker at this year’s Cato University. Yet another outstanding reason why we hope you’ll consider joining us this summer! Cato University – our Summer Seminar on Political Economy – is the Cato Institute’s premier, one-of-a-kind educational event. This annual program – held this year at Cato in Washington, DC from July 26-31 – brings together outstanding faculty and participants from across the country and, often, from around the globe – all sharing a commitment to liberty and learning.

Recent Commentary

Events

May 26

The Global Village Myth: Distance, War, and the Limits of Power

Featuring the author Patrick Porter, Academic Director, Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter; with comments by Zack Beauchamp, World Correspondent, Vox.com; and Austin Long, Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; moderated by Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

12:00pm Hayek Auditorium

May 28

Removing Barriers to Online Medical Care

Featuring Rene Quashie, Senior Counsel, Epstein, Becker & Green; and Jeff Rowes, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice; with a response from Josh Sharfstein, Associate Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; moderated by Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.

12:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses, have given rise to a growing libertarian movement in our country – with a greater focus on individual liberty and less government power. David Boaz’s newly released The Libertarian Mind is a comprehensive guide to the history, philosophy, and growth of the libertarian movement, with incisive analyses of today’s most pressing issues and policies. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Cato Book

The Tyranny of Silence

With the tragedies in Denmark and Paris, self-censorship in the face of intimidation and the nature of free speech are at the forefront of public debate. No one knows this debate better than Flemming Rose, the editor of the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005 that set off a global firestorm. In Tyranny of Silence, published by the Cato Institute, Rose offers a deeply personal look at attempts to limit free speech in a multireligious, culturally borderless world.

Get your copy today.

The Beautiful Tree Audiobook

The Beautiful Tree Audiobook Now Available

Upon its release several years ago, The Beautiful Tree was hailed as “a masterpiece.” Author James Tooley braids together personal experience, community action, individual courage, and family devotion to tell the story of the small, parent-funded schools he first came upon in India that could help achieve universal education. Tooley details his travels from the largest shanty town in Africa to the mountains of China, and the children, parents, teachers, and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves.

This best selling and award winning Cato Institute book is now available as an unabridged audiobook for $24.95.