Many consumers are concerned about what information they reveal when they go online, how that information is protected, and how it will be used. Government regulators have clamored to answer those questions and impose their visions of online commerce. But the best answers will emerge from competition among firms to serve consumers. Because consumers have many options online, and because they can decline to use the Internet entirely, they can reward and punish online businesses on the basis of their privacy and security practices.

More on Privacy Issues


The NSA’s Heartbleed Problem Is the Problem with the NSA

By Julian Sanchez. The Guardian. April 12, 2014.

The Fourth Amendment Shell Game

By Julian Sanchez. Slate. April 10, 2014.

Let’s Fight Back vs. Government Throttling of Constitution

By Nat Hentoff. March 26, 2014.

Cato Studies

A Rational Response to the Privacy “Crisis”

By Larry Downes. Policy Analysis No. 716. January 7, 2013.

Reputation under Regulation: The Fair Credit Reporting Act at 40 and Lessons for the Internet Privacy Debate

By Jim Harper. Policy Analysis No. 690. December 8, 2011.

Publication Practices for Transparent Government

By Jim Harper. Briefing Paper No. 121. September 23, 2011.


Surveillance in Perspective

Roger Pilon. The Politic - Yale University. Summer 2006.

Public Filings

Riley v. California

By Jim Harper, Ilya Shapiro and Gabriel Latner. Legal Briefs. March 10, 2014.

Hearing on “Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities”

By Julian Sanchez. Testimony. December 11, 2013.

In re: Electronic Privacy Information Center

By Jim Harper and Randy E. Barnett. Legal Briefs. August 12, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Snowden Conundrum

Robert A. Levy. Policy Report. March/April 2014.

Unveiling the Surveillance State

Sen. Ron Wyden. Cato's Letter. Winter 2014.

Decoding the Summer of Snowden

Julian Sanchez. Policy Report. November/December 2013.


The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI

Featuring Julian Sanchez and Gene Healy. March 13, 2014. Book Forum.

The Libertarian State of the Union

Featuring Chris Edwards, Julian Sanchez, Ilya Shapiro & Michael D. Tanner. January 24, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Who’s Watching Little Brother? Local Surveillance, National Concerns

Featuring Jim Harper. December 11, 2013. Policy Forum.