The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Cybersecurity practices can now affect not only our data privacy, but also our personal safety and our democracy itself. CIS scholars combine technical knowledge with legal and policy expertise to apply interdisciplinary assessments of cybersecurity issues to real-world problems.
Out of the 7.5 billion people on Earth, I’m guessing that approximately zero percent will be sad to see this benighted year come to an end. Looking back is too depressing, so I want to take a look forward. Read more about What Will 2021 Hold for Tech Policy?
Government computer systems in Hall County, Georgia, including a voter signature database, were hit by a ransomware attack earlier this fall in the first known ransomware attack on election infrastructure during the 2020 presidential election. Thankfully, county officials reported that the voting process for its citizens was not disrupted. Read more about Ransomware can interfere with elections and fuel disinformation – basic cybersecurity precautions are key to minimizing the damage
A review of Shannon Vallor’s excellent book Technology and the Virtues, which details perspectives on virtue from Aristotle, Confucius, and Buddhist perspectives, suggests the inquiry would benefit from engagement with Christian Neo-Platonic and derivative perspectives. I agree, though here I extend the engagement to a more general set of Christian perspectives on virtue.
To do this, a Christianity emphasizing humility is preferable to one emphasizing difference and retribution. The goal is to be a candle, not a torch. This Christianity is well aware humans are often guided more by mental shortcuts than by objective analysis and rational choice. The “ego is the enemy” as one author put it. Which is to say, importantly, that the person is not the enemy; the person is not the problem.
Within each person, of any status, race, sexual or gender identity, age, or religious practice, is the divine and the good. I think it’s a mistake to place blame on what technology is “doing to us.” In the “software” of our DNA is a superior human capacity, one that can hear divine goodness. Rather than ignore it and treat humans as inexorably enslaved to our prejudices, a principle of virtue should aim at not only changes in technology design but also at defining a social consensus of personal accountability to emotional growth. Read more about “Tool Without A Handle: Spirituality, Virtue, and Technology Ethics”