back to article Q&A: Crypto-guru Bruce Schneier on teaching tech to lawmakers, plus privacy failures – and a call to techies to act

Politicians are, by and large, clueless about technology, and it's going to be up to engineers and other techies to rectify that, even if it means turning down big pay packets for a while. This was the message computer security guru Bruce Schneier gave at last week's RSA Conference in San Francisco, during a keynote address, …

Page:

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Yes, really ...

        NO! The government writes the laws and can punish malcontents. You deal with the government or find yourself in a fate worse than death.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Yes, really ...

          Ok, Charles 9 .... Paper Tigers Rule. Terrifying eh?

          That's sure to be the opinion of some who may be more than just a chosen few, methinks, no matter how often the system pretends and protests it is not.

          1. Keef

            Re: Yes, really ...

            If you want a 'Paper Tiger' read old fashioned paper book 'The Tiger That Isn't' by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot.

        2. Chronos

          Re: Yes, really ...

          NO! The civil service writes the wishlist and gets the legislature to effect laws that punish malcontents. You deal with the government or find yourself in a fate worse than death.

          FTFY

  1. Reg T.

    Pols needn't know anything.

    They are whores and are told how to vote - and do vote as they are instructed. Staff write the legislation, oft times several years in advance.

    If they displease, their pay stops. If they really piss someone off, their plane crashes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the job

    Everything Bruce says about tech is also true of the law as a discipline. It's incumbent upon lawyers -- and legislatures -- to keep up, or they're not doing their jobs. Back in the 40's legislatures and government executives in the US had to become experts in military logistics and war strategy to make the decisions necessary to defeat the Axis. Later, in the 50's they had to tackle the task of funding the engineering feat that became the US interstate highway system. There are lots of other examples showing politicians being forced into the uncomfortable position of having to learn new stuff. Frankly, if any individual politician isn't up to the job, they should get out and go run a sandwich shop franchise. I'm really tired of the excuses. A demonstrable understanding of the most basic tech should be mandatory for anyone who is going to vote on tech policy. It should not be optional.

  3. TimMaher Silver badge
    Unhappy

    How to be ignored.

    I wonder if any politicians, or even their SPADs or interns read El Reg or any other technical/news publication?

    If they do, do any of them agree with or even understand any of the content or the opinions of our esteemed commentards?

    If they do understand and agree, will they act honourably and take the right course of action even if their constituents couldn’t give a pigs burp?

    I fear not. Which is why we are probably going to remain where we are.

    Sigh...

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: How to be ignored.

      do any of them agree with or even understand any of the content or the opinions of our esteemed commentards? ..... Tim Maher

      Howdy TM,

      You could easily test that of Jacob William Rees-Mogg, MP, with requests for his thoughts now on actions taken after the receiving and reading of New Knowledge and AVR Fieldcraft emailed to him @parliament.uk [16/11/2017 15:15] ...... which has everything to do with what we can all do from the like of here.

      It may be bamboozling him and anyone else who has borne witness to the contents. They are easily simplified though for as broad an understanding as is necessary for their further comprehension of future events as may reveal and present themselves.

      One does assume that when one emails an MP at their official address they do actually know they have been directly contacted/informed/targeted and are allowed to read conveyed content. If not, the provided service is useless and unfit for Future Greater IntelAIgent Games Use.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. holmegm

    not a bad thing, in itself

    Lawmakers are reluctant to disrupt the enormous wealth creation machine that technology has turned out to be.

    That's ... not a bad thing, in itself.

    Obviously it can't be allowed to simply override all other concerns, but it's hardly an invalid concern of its own. Without enormous wealth creation machines you have poverty, which is best when avoided.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: not a bad thing, in itself

      Why does it always have to be wealth CREATION (which I feel to be impossible anyway as wealth is tied to matter which is finite--you don't create wealth, you FIND it)? Why can't it be wealth MAINTENANCE?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: not a bad thing, in itself

        Why does it always have to be wealth CREATION (which I feel to be impossible anyway as wealth is tied to matter which is finite--you don't create wealth, you FIND it)? Why can't it be wealth MAINTENANCE? ...... Charles 9

        Great idea, Charles 9, and rather than it being accepted all are born chronically poor, when all are born immensely rich, is massive disbursement/granting of life changing sums to spend and coincidentally fund Improving Earth Life Support Systems, absolutely vital to ensure Continued Life in what can easily suddenly turn into a Deadly Hostile Environment.

        Yes, such is so, and that is a serious situation to warrant decisive definitive ACTion .... with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Supporting Services.

        And such AId Situations Renders the Edge to Hedge if you're Packing and Unloading Wedge.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021