A Tidal Wave of Regulations to Hit IT Shores

It’s hard to find the appropriate comment for this… I can only imagine that because Sarbanes-Oxley has done such a bang up job of making corporate balance sheets more transparent and reliable that Congress has determined the solution is more Sarbanes-Oxley.

The new regulations will be introduced as a direct result of the current crisis in the financial markets, and as their scope becomes clearer they will have a huge effect on data center activities, said Chris McClean, an analyst at Forrester Research. “I reckon the impact of these new regulations has the potential to be much, much bigger than Sarbanes-Oxley,” says McLean. “The push for new regulation will be enormous. When you look at the amount of people affected by Enron and WorldCom, it’s small compared to those affected by the current financial crisis. IT will have to be involved in a big way.”

[From A Tidal Wave of Regulations to Hit IT Shores]

There is one constant in the Federal government, their lust for oversight knows no bounds and when presented with an opportunity to not let a good crisis go to waste, they will milk it for every possible opportunity to create new laws irrespective of what actually is at the root of the crisis in the first place. I am not suggesting that there are no gaps in the current regulatory scheme, but what I am saying is that we owe it everyone involved to understand first how government policies, regulatory agency failures, and outright fraud stacked up before we go creating new laws that increase the cost of doing business.

Hat tip to Walter Olson who writes the excellent blog OverLawyered. I really recommend you read his blog to stay current on another regulatory disaster, CPSIA.

CPSIA Train Wreck

Walter Olson has a really thorough roundup of the news and events surrounding the CPSIA, a really egregious example of legislation gone wild following the Chinese lead paint in toys incidents of last year. This is an interesting story on two levels, the first being how Congress’ response to real problems with oversight and legislation can be worse than the original problems they targeted, and secondly how social media is playing a role in elevating public awareness of these issues in a way that media simply won’t devote themselves to doing.

Much of the alarm over the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the federal law enacted last year in response to panics over Chinese toys with lead paint and the phthalates found in plastic, has focused on the effect it will have on toys and related kids’ products, driving many of them from the market because it is too costly for handcrafters and small-run manufacturers to pay for the testing of every lot. (One protest site is entitled National Bankruptcy Day, after Feb. 10, the day the law is set to go into effect.) But the law is much wider in application than that. It also applies to a sweeping array of children’s goods including clothing, bedding, Scouting patches, and countless other fabric and textile goods for kids’ use; paper goods, school supplies, homeschooling kits, as well as library books and audiobooks, board games, baseball cards, and the like; outdoor gear, bikes, backpacks, telescopes and sporting equipment; home furnishings when marketed for use in kids’ rooms; and much more.

[From Overlawyered — Chronicling the high cost of our legal system]