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Cybersecurity & Standards, European Policy

Meet CDT’s First Ford/Mozilla Technical Exchange Fellow

From CDT’s Chief Technologist, Joseph Lorenzo Hall: A brand new program designed to bring together emerging technology leaders with civil society organizations gets underway this month. As founding partners in the program, CDT is proud to introduce our first Ford-Mozilla fellow, Scott Craig, to the team. Over to you Scott!

Hello, people of the Internet! I’m delighted to be starting my new role as CDT’s Ford-Mozilla Technical Exchange Fellow for 2015.

I would very much like to thank Mozilla and the Ford Foundation for their leadership in organising this programme and for the extensive and crucial work they do in supporting and developing efforts to create an open and innovative Internet that’s available to all.

CDT has been doing an extraordinary job advancing freedoms and rights on the Internet and I feel extremely privileged to be spending a year contributing to their work. I will be spending my time working with a great team on issues affecting Internet Architecture and on developments in the European policy space.

As someone who has spent most of my career advocating for the public interest; first for entrepreneurs against entrenched interests, then for voters against apathy, and then for compassion against indifference to refugees, I relish this opportunity to apply myself to an issue of such importance as our digital rights.

Changes in technology regularly require difficult, highly contested, and often controversial changes to the law. Such changes are not easy to get right and are often complicated by conflicts between private and public interest. Too often, private interests end up being the loudest voice in the room.

Politics is about hard choices, made in difficult circumstances, and with imperfect information.  My belief is that that the more technology-minded people get involved in policy, the better the decisions we will get and the stronger our rights will be.

Of the many challenges we face, I think three stand out above the others as deserving of our attention and efforts.

  1. Surveillance reform that ensures intelligence agencies are fully under our democratic control, with powers that are proportionate and that do not pose a threat to our liberties;
  1. Polices for and governance of the Internet that does not privilege multinationals over micro-enterprises;
  1. An open Internet that acts as an enabler of free speech, rather than an instrument of censorship.

Some twenty-five years after the birth of the web it is only now legal to copy music from a CD onto your computer in the UK. We cannot afford to wait that long for our digital rights to be enshrined in law. I’m hopeful, with the combined efforts of all the Tech Exchange fellows and their host organisations, we won’t have to.

If you would like to get in touch / @scottdavidcraig / [email protected]