Tech Policy

Tech Policy

Research

Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman, Anne Hobson, Chris Kuiper | May 26, 2015
This paper argues that the sharing economy—through the use of the Internet and real time reputational feedback mechanisms—is providing a solution to the lemons problem that many regulators have spent decades attempting to overcome.
Christopher Koopman | Feb 27, 2015
The real issues should not be lost in the noise. Are people sharing? Not always. But, then again, that really isn’t what the sharing economy is about. Instead, they are benefitting from mutually beneficial interactions that would not be possible without the sharing economy’s platforms.
Adam Thierer | Feb 18, 2015
This paper highlights some of the opportunities presented by the rise of the so-called “Internet of Things” and wearable technology in particular, and encourages policymakers to allow these technologies to develop in a relatively unabated fashion. As with other new and highly disruptive digital technologies, however, the Internet of Things and wearable tech will challenge existing social, economic, and legal norms.
Christopher Koopman | Feb 17, 2015
The sharing economy of today must be allowed to compete with and challenge the business models of the past. And – just as important – tomorrow’s innovators must be able to challenge today’s upstarts, who will soon enough be the incumbents.
Jerry Brito, Houman Shadab, Andrea Castillo | Jan 15, 2015
In this article we survey the type of financial instruments and transactions that will most likely be of interest to regulators, including traditional securities and derivatives, new bitcoin-denominated instruments, and completely decentralized markets and exchanges.
Christopher Koopman, Matthew Mitchell, Adam Thierer | Dec 08, 2014
When market circumstances change dramatically—or when new technology or competition alleviates the need for regulation—then public policy should evolve and adapt to accommodate these realities. This paper concludes with some proposals for further research in this area, and a call for a more informed regulatory approach that accounts for the innovations of the sharing economy.

Testimony & Comments

Christopher Koopman, Matthew Mitchell, Adam Thierer | May 26, 2015
The commission should shift enforcement efforts away from stopping private restraint of trade and toward stopping public restraint of trade. In light of George Stigler’s observation that “the state has one basic resource which in pure principle is not shared with even the mightiest of its citizens: the power to coerce,” the commission would be wise to adopt Commissioner Wright’s approach and shift resources toward fighting public restraint of trade.
Eli Dourado, Ryan Hagemann, Adam Thierer | Apr 24, 2015
The FAA must carefully consider the potential effect of UASs on the US economy. If it does not, innovation and technological advancement in the commercial UAS space will find a home elsewhere in the world. Many of the most innovative UAS advances are already happening abroad, not in the United States. If the United States is to be a leader in the development of UAS technologies, the FAA must open the American skies to innovation.
Adam Thierer | Feb 11, 2015
We should remain patient and continue to embrace permissionless innovation to ensure that the Internet of Things thrives and American consumers and companies continue to be global leaders in the digital economy.
Brent Skorup | Jan 22, 2015
The focus of the committee’s white paper on how to “foster” various television distributors, while understandable, was nonetheless misguided. Such an inquiry will likely lead to harmful rules that favor some companies and programmers over others, based on political whims. Congress and the FCC should get out of “fostering” the video distribution markets completely. A light-touch regulatory approach will prevent the damaging effects of lobbying for privilege and will ensure the primacy of consumer choice.
Adam Thierer, Ryan Hagemann | Sep 23, 2014
As part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), Congress ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UASs)—sometimes referred to as drones—into the National Airspace System by September 2015. As part of that effort, the FAA is currently accepting comments on its “Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft” (Section 336 of the FMRA) and the FAA’s enforcement authority over model aircraft as affirmed by the statute.
Brent Skorup | Sep 15, 2014
Though an effective rallying cry, there is no consensus about what “net neutrality” or the “open Internet” means when it comes to putting rules on paper. Professor Barbara van Schewick has said, “If there is no rule against blocking in a proposal, it’s not a network neutrality proposal.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

May 19, 2015

Much of the news surrounding the rapid growth of the sharing economy seems to focus exclusively on the headline-grabbing, billion-dollar valuations that companies like Uber and Airbnb received. More recently, the ride-sharing app and Uber-competitor Lyft was valued at $2.5 billion. These stories fuel a rather popular narrative that the sharing economy is a thinly veiled attempt to profit by cheating the system, circumventing taxes, evading safety regulations, and flouting labor laws.
May 10, 2015

CISA actually bucks the usual liberty/security trade-off, because it threatens our civil liberties without meaningfully improving cybersecurity—and could potentially even weaken it. We should dump this Trojan and focus on developing bottom-up, collaborative security practices that will actually work.
May 07, 2015

The federal government must get its own house in order before such comprehensive information sharing measures like CISA could be even technically feasible. But CISA would be a failure even if managed by the most well-managed government systems because it seeks to impose a technocratic structure on a dynamic system. Effective reform will promote a self-organizing “collaborative security approach” as outlined by groups like the Internet Society, an international nonprofit devoted to Internet policy and technology standards. Cybersecurity provision is too important a problem to be inadequately addressed by measures that will fail to improve security.
May 05, 2015

Public utility regulations have not promoted consumer protection and they won’t today, even if public utility regulations were once justified on those grounds. There is nothing pro-consumer or progressive about foreclosing opportunities for greater choice, competition, and innovation. We should avoid extending such inefficient and anti-consumer policies to the exciting technologies and services that consumers now enjoy.
Apr 28, 2015

We are at the dawn of the Internet of Things—a world full of smart devices equipped with sensors, all hooked up to a digital universe that will become as omnipresent as the air we breathe. Imagine every appliance in your home, every machine in your office, and every device in your car constantly communicating with a network and offering you a fully customizable, personalized experience.
Apr 06, 2015

Last week marked another historic, continent wide expedition, although this time the Delphi Automotive team's traveling companion wasn't a dog, but a robot chauffer. A driverless car, starting from the Golden Gate Bridge, safely traveled the intervening 3,500 miles to arrive just in time for the New York International Auto Show.

Charts

This weeks’ charts use data from the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) FY 2014 Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliance report to display the agency share, type, and number of reported federal information security incidents for FY 2014 and over time.

Experts

Podcasts

Brent Skorup | May 12, 2015
Brent Skorup breaks down five common myths about net neutrality on the Bill Sayre Show and advocates for a better path forward.

Recent Events

This program will: provide an introduction to net neutrality and briefly explain the history of the debate, lay out the arguments for and against net neutrality, and discuss mechanisms to ensure the Internet remains a vibrantly free conduit and tool for ideas, innovation and economic growth.

Books

Tom W. Bell | Apr 29, 2014
Intellectual Privilege reveals copyright as a statutory privilege that threatens our natural and constitutional rights. From this fresh perspective comes fresh solutions to copyright’s problems.

Media Clippings

Adam Thierer | May 05, 2015
This excerpt originally appeared in the Boston Review.
Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman | Jan 25, 2015
This excerpt originally appeared in Wall Street Journal.
Eli Dourado | Sep 06, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in The Hill.
Adam Thierer | Jul 03, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in Real Clear Policy.
Jerry Brito | Jun 02, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in Yahoo News.
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