Debugging DC: Why Government Is That Way, and How to Start Fixing It
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Abstract – This talk will describe the speaker’s experience in government, where he served as the first Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission. Technologists often complain that government is broken and policymakers are clueless, but the truth is more complicated. This talk will explain why government works differently, why it can be perfectly fine for policymakers to not understand how the Internet works, how to work effectively with government officials, why legislative strategy is NP-complete, and why we need more technologists to spend time in public service.
Biography – Edward W. Felten is a Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and the founding Director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. In 2011-12 he served as the first Chief Technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. His research interests include computer security and privacy, especially relating to media and consumer products; and technology law and policy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Fellow of the ACM.