Contact Information:
Louisa Tavlas
Director of Communication
The Niskanen Center


Chairman McCaul’s Commission Legislation Formally Released

Washington, D.C.– February 29, 2016. Today, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Michael McCaul formally released the text of his legislative proposal to create a commission to examine the issues and challenges facing law enforcement in the digital age. The Commission lays out a bipartisan, multi-stakeholder approach to engaging various parties—including law enforcement, the tech community, civil society, and others—in a process that would ultimately culminate in recommendations to Congress on appropriate policy prescriptions.  

“McCaul’s approach to resolving this ongoing debate is the most reasonable one from all the available options,” said Ryan Hagemann, the Niskanen Center’s technology and civil liberties policy analyst. “Although we’d prefer that the government simply back down from this fight, the Chairman is correct that the challenges facing law enforcement in the digital age need to be taken seriously. It’s better to tone down the heated rhetoric, sit stakeholders down at a table, and talk these issues through.”

The Niskanen Center has supported Chairman McCaul’s Commission since its announcement in December 2015. Since then, a wide array of actors and organizations have come out in support of this approach, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board and Apple.

“Bipartisan compromise is in short supply these days, but this Commission could serve as the first step towards a solution amicable to all parties. We hope that Congress takes this approach into serious consideration,” Hagemann said.

The Niskanen Center is a libertarian 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that was established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.