I am a policy technologist: a person trained technically that applies those skills to affect law and policy. In this talk, I will explore the work of a policy technologist and cover a number of emerging themes that may be useful to you in your own work, or in thinking about possible career paths. First, I'll make the case that in a world of Moore's and Metcalfe's laws, sound technical input is increasingly necessary for making good policy; I'll cover the ongoing Crypto Wars (CALEA II), privacy in mobile devices against law enforcement (Riley v. California), and efforts to technically ground the often confused net neutrality debate (BITAG). Second, it is also increasingly important that human rights and public interest values be embedded in technology and infrastructure; I'll cover ongoing work at the IETF and W3C that aims to do this.
Finally, there are a number of efforts by technologists working across diverse communities or within relatively entrenched cultures to affect important change; here, I'll cover the HTTPS-Only work in US Federal Government -- almost all .gov domains will be strict HTTPS by the end of 2016 -- and US civil society's response to the potentially chilling Wassenaarexport control rules, which would have grave consequences for common privacy and security tools as well as discussing potential security vulnerabilities
Joseph Lorenzo Hall is the Chief Technologist and Director of the Internet Architecture project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington, DC-based non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring the internet remains open, innovative and free.
Hall's work focuses on the intersection of technology, law, and policy, working to ensure that technical considerations are appropriately embedded into legal and policy instruments. Supporting work across all of CDT's programmatic areas, Hall provides substantive technical expertise to CDT's programs, and interfaces externally with CDT supporters, stakeholders, academics, and technologists. Hall leads CDT's Internet Architecture project, which focuses on embedding human rights values into core internet standards and infrastructure, engaging technologists in policy work, and producing accessible technical material for policymakers.