This is the second in a two part blog series. For a look at my first blog post, look here. [LINK]

At Hack NYC this year, I also attended a session called ‘Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Policy.’ This was a round-table chat on the topic of the future of technology and cyber policy. We needed to be able to understand that cyber policy should be a collaboration between policy and technical communities. The synopsis of the session read, “Many practitioners want to get involved, yet feel unprepared or ill-equipped to engage in a public policy dialog. Government officials, especially at state and local level, recognize their bench of technically literate expertise is piecemeal and shallow, yet lack the institutions and connective tissue to change that.”

The discussion was kicked off with a single question: Do you think it is easy to change public policy?

There were about 20 attendees and only 2 thought that it was very easy to change public policy. When asked to explain their theory, the two people said that if you just listen to the government officials that are frustrated with policy, it is easy to understand them. They explained how once you find a solution that works for the people in the government, it will then help create a policy that should be in effect. To no surprise, not many people agreed and neither of the two people that spoke had any concrete examples on the topic nor have they taken part in anything like that before.

The conversation then shifted onto how countries figure out their public policy. The biggest example spoke about was that The European Union cares more about their people than corporations, while the US cares more about corporations rather than their people. People explained that this kind of issue is what influenced public policy in these countries. Then, of course China was brought up, but I will just leave it at that.

One of the attendees brought up Net Neutrality and how it coincides with privacy and website cookies. Questions like how do you disable cookies in the US and Europe? And how much of your privacy has been lost over the years.

During my time at Hack NYC, I liked the intent it had but felt that a lot of the conversations could have been more focused. If I get the opportunity to go next year, I will definitely make the most of it.