Is Cybersecurity a Public Good?

By David Henderson – In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Everyone Should Pay for Cyber Defense,” April 22, Harvard University economics professor Martin Feldstein, makes a case for government intervention in the area of cybersecurity.

“The attackers use computer programs to look for openings in the computer systems of companies. They also send seemingly harmless emails to company employees which, when opened, provide entry to the company’s internal networks. The attackers may be foreign governments or the foreign companies that those governments assist …”

But how does this case differ in principle from that of thieves who want to enter a company’s building? When companies feel threatened, they tend to hire security guards and set up security systems. There’s no public good. more>


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