In the current digital era, the advancement of technology strongly depends on governmental decisions. Laws and bills adopted by the authorities can enhance innovation, but, as practice shows, they often only prevent scientists and engineers from realizing their ideas. The problem lies in poor understanding of technological and scientific impacts on society by many policymakers. Unfortunately, the causes of this misunderstanding are unknown, leading to unfulfilled societal promises. To improve the situation, people should request and advocate for the creation of a technological advisory council and re-establish a county’s plans for the future.
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The role of senators and congresspersons is to ensure the safety and prosperity of all citizens. Despite their lack of scientific background, they try to address technology problems from a neutral perspective. If the government consisted of only engineers and scientists, many people would still not understand advanced innovations. A better solution would be to re-introduce advisory bodies like the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), which would review laws and regulations created by the authorities and suggest changes. The absence of such committees resulted in a controversial bill against digital encryption proposed by Senators Burr and Feinstein in 2016 (Greenberg, 2016). The drafted bill rejected the core of digital encryption, which is security and privacy. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the outdated intellectual property law. As Winston (2019) emphasizes, old industrial policies are “not well-suited for the changing and evolving technological world” (p. 3). Many argue that the presence of OTA could have helped not only to redraft the 2016 bill and make it acceptable by the public but also to rewrite the intellectual property laws.
Having a government that cares for its people and a separate committee overlooking policies of technological innovations can lead the country forward. The practice has shown a need for the reestablishment of such advisory bodies. Lack of science and engineering background of current senators and congresspersons is not a dramatic problem. However, in order to be at the top of technological development ranks, authorities should reconsider their approach.
- Greenberg, A. (2016). The senate’s draft encryption bill is ‘ludicrous, dangerous, technically illiterate.‘ Wired. Web.
- Winston, E. I. (2019). Information age technology, industrial age laws. Tennessee law review, forthcoming. Web.