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Embarrassing stories shed light on U.S. officials' technological ignorance

colinneagle (2544914) writes | about 6 months ago

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colinneagle (2544914) writes "Speaking at the SXSW Conference recently, Dr. Peter W. Singer, director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, recalled one U.S. official who was "about to negotiate cybersecurity with China" asking him to explain what the term "ISP" (Internet Service Provider) means. This wasn't the only example of this lack of awareness.

"That’s like going to negotiate with the Soviets and not knowing what ‘ICBM’ means," Dr. Singer said. "And I’ve had similar experiences with officials from the UK, China and Abu Dhabi."

Similarly, Dr. Singer recalled one account in which Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security Department from 2009 to 2013, admitted that she didn't use email "because she just didn’t think it was useful."

"A Supreme Court justice also told me ‘I haven’t got round to email yet’ — and this is someone who will get to vote on everything from net neutrality to the NSA negotiations," Dr. Singer said."

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