Then there were the hearings earlier this year about Net neutrality. The outcome of that debate could have a huge impact on the Internet as we know it, but I can't help but wonder how many of our elected officials really grasp the issue. Consider, for example, the infamous description of the Internet by Sen. Ted Stevens:
"Ten movies streaming across that, that internet, and what happens to your own personal internet? I just the other day got ... an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."
Consider, also, electronic voting. Experts have cited legitimate security problems with existing e-voting machines for years now. Yet even after over a thousand separate incidences were reported during the 2004 elections, the government's moving at a glacial pace to resolve them.
At least one pundit has even resorted to giving an in-depth explanation of how to steal an election, which, alongside an undoubtedly satirical Web site promising to fix election outcomes, might light a fire under a politician or two to fix the problem.
And just today, Rep. Edward Markey called for the arrest of security researcher Christopher Soghoian, who created a Web site, called Northwest Airlines Boarding Pass Generator, on which users could print up a forged boarding pass for Northwest Airlines flights. That, to me, is yet again indicative of a politician who is missing entirely the big technology picture of airline security. (There's also a question there about freedom of speech, but this entry is more about politician's knowledge of technology, not Constitutional law.)
Anyway, election day is drawing near, so if you haven't voted yet and you're as concerned as I am about keep technologically ignorant politicians out of office, I suggest you do a little more homework on your candidate of choice.
Perhaps even send him or her an e-mail -- though if you do, you run the risk of not getting a response. Because, you know, not all politicians read their e-mail.