IT and cybersecurity pros for a fixable future

Even before we were a country, the United States was a nation of tinkerers, innovators, and fixers.

Electronics repair in a repair shop.
Electronics repair by device owners and independent professionals is threatened by digital rights management software and licensing agreements that deprive owners of a right to repair their property.

The right of owners to repair, re-use, fix, modify, and improve the stuff they own is central to our identity as a nation. For three centuries, an implicit right to repair – grounded in Common Law – has been central to the United States’ growth and development as a nation.

Repair was a foundation for American “thrift”: helping farmers, business owners and individuals endure lean times by eeking extra years and decades out of tools, equipment, automobiles, electronics and other possessions.

In the modern era, tinkering and “modding” have been core to the growth of the high- tech industry in Silicon Valley, Route 128, Research Triangle Park and elsewhere. Read the origin stories of companies like Digital Equipment, Apple, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard and you’ll find engineers tinkering and experimenting with both hardware and software: inventing new products and new industries from the parts and technologies at hand. 

Farmers repairing a tractor.
Repair was critical to the growth of the United States, allowing everyone from farmers to millers and manufacturers to prolong the useful life of tools and equipment. (Image courtesy of Library of Congress.)

As cybersecurity and information technology professionals, we recognize that the freedom to repair, fix and tinker is core to the advancement of the technology industry. We also recognize that it is indispensable if we are to not only realize new products and services, but also keep them secure from hackers, cyber criminals and other sophisticated adversaries.

As citizens across the country seek to enshrine the right to repair their personal, home and workplace electronics in law, is about giving the information technology and cybersecurity communities voices and seats at the table. As others look to cast repair and tinkering in a negative light, we seek to inform the public that repair is critical to good and lasting security.

Read our statement of principles and visit our members site to see who we are. Visit our advocacy page to see the issues we’re tracking nation-wide.