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Jim Harper is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, working to adapt law and policy to the information age in areas such as privacy, cybersecurity, telecommunications, intellectual property, counterterrorism, government transparency, and digital currency. A former counsel to committees in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, he went on to represent companies such as PayPal, ICO-Teledesic, DigitalGlobe, and Verisign, and in 2014 he served as Global Policy Counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation.

A founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, Harper co-edited the book Terrorizing Ourselves: How U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It. He has written several amicus briefs in Fourth Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and is the author of Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood. He has been cited by numerous print, Internet, and television media outlets and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other leading publications. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Administrative Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.

Harper holds a JD from the University of California–Hastings College of Law.

More from Jim Harper


Congress and the States Should Reject the National ID Law

Washington Examiner. February 1, 2016.

Repeal REAL ID

The Hill (Online). October 28, 2015.

Relax, Minnesota: REAL ID Deadline Isn’t for Real

StarTribune. September 30, 2015.

Cato Studies


Intellectual Property and First Principles

February 10, 2016. Policy Forum.

REAL ID: Fear, Federalism, and the U.S. National ID Program

December 11, 2015. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2015

October 23, 2015. City Seminar.