Ben Hammersley's after-dinner speech to the UK's Information Assurance Advisory Council (a "talking shop for government, law enforcement, security services, and private companies") about the contemporary reality of policymaking in an era of rapid technological change, and the way that the cynical post-9/11 freedom/privacy-grabbing security measures have undermined the real safety of society.
Fundamental Truth Number two is that the internet is the dominant platform for life in the 21st century.
We can bitch about it, but Facebook, Twitter, Google and all the rest are, in many ways the very definition of modern life in the democratic west. For many, a functioning internet with freedom of speech, and a good connection to the social networks of our choice is a sign not just of modernity, but of civilisation itself.
This is not because people are “addicted to the video screen”, or have some other patronising psychological diagnosis. But because the internet is where we live. It’s where we do business, where we meet, where we fall in love. It is the central platform for business, culture, and personal relationships. There’s not much else left.
To misunderstand the centrality of these services to today’s society is to make a fundamental error. The internet isn’t a luxury addition to life; for most people, knowingly or not, it is life.
I also really liked this: "[A] two term Prime Minister today would end his term of office with an iPhone 64 times as powerful as the one he won the election with. (Or the same thing, but 1/64th of the price.) His policies, therefore, need to written with that future in mind, not the present. Good luck with that."
Check Against Delivery. My speech to the IAAC.
(via O'Reilly Radar)