Distinguished Fellow Will Lead Project on 'Securing the Internet'
WASHINGTON D.C. - Former U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner Orson Swindle is joining The Progress & Freedom Foundation as a Distinguished Fellow, and will provide the leadership for a new PFF project titled "Securing the Internet." During his nearly eight-year tenure at the FTC, Swindle established a reputation as a leader on Internet privacy and security issues. He will bring that experience to PFF and the "Securing the Internet" project, which will include a series of papers and a major Internet Security Summit in the spring of 2006. Separately, Swindle will continue as the Chair of Information Security Projects for Hunton & Williams' Center for Information Policy Leadership. PFF is not affiliated with Hunton & Williams.
"Orson Swindle is no stranger to PFF, having graced us with his presence at many Aspen Summits," says PFF President Ray Gifford. "I have always been impressed with his intellect, his vision and his ability to put complex issues in simple terms. He has a long and honorable history of public service, and we believe the work he will do with PFF will continue to serve consumers and society."
"As the Internet has become an ubiquitous and essential part of the economic and social fabric of the United States and the world, the open architecture that has driven that growth has also left the Internet vulnerable to a wide range of security threats," says PFF Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research Tom Lenard . "No one understands that better than Orson Swindle. He will be able to provide valuable insight into the role of both government and the market in providing security and privacy solutions for sensitive and personal information."
"This new PFF project will further the creation of a 'culture of security,'" says Swindle. "I believe our Founding Fathers had it right, that government should play only a minimal role in our lives. Markets operating with little or no government intervention generally provide optimal security and privacy solutions, when coupled with strong law enforcement. An agreed-upon set of private-sector best practices would go a long way toward providing consumers with better security. It is absolutely critical that industry immediately lead the way toward rational market solutions, or the government will feel compelled to try to provide the answers."
Developing such a list of voluntary best practices will be among the goals of the PFF project "Securing the Internet." One area for development will be the PFF Internet Security Summit in the spring of 2006, which will feature attendees from major Internet security companies and high-level government officials. Among the questions to be addressed include:
What are the most important security threats facing the Internet now and in the immediate future?
How well is the market addressing these threats?
What is the appropriate role of government in this highly technical and fast moving environment?
What legal rules can best facilitate adequate information security practices and reduce vulnerabilities of the Internet? On the other hand, which laws are not helpful in combating Internet security problems yet create legal uncertainty impose costs nonetheless?
When Swindle left the FTC at the end of June, FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras had this to say: "His passionate commitment to information security has helped the FTC to push to establish a 'culture of security' -- from leading the development of international information security guidelines, to testifying before Congress on the importance of information security to consumers and businesses, to working with prominent industry and government representatives, he has fostered lasting awareness of these important issues."
While at the FTC, Swindle played a leadership role in addressing information system security and privacy concerns in both domestic and international settings through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. He received the 2005 RSA Conference Award for Public Policy from the Cyber Security Industry Alliance and the 2004 Privacy Leadership Award by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development during the Reagan Administration.
As a Marine aviator, Swindle was awarded more than 20 military decorations for valor in combat including two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit and two Purple Hearts. He retired in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Swindle was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for more than six years.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.