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United States Government Technology

White House Names Ed Felten As Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer 27

New submitter bird writes: Ed Felton, Director of Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) and well-known and outspoken consumer advocate, has been appointed deputy US chief technology officer. His is a voice of reason that needs to be heard when tech policy is made. The press release says: "We are excited to announce that Dr. Ed Felten is joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer. Ed joins a growing number of techies at the White House working to further President Obama’s vision to ensure policy decisions are informed by our best understanding of state-of-the-art technology and innovation, to quickly and efficiently deliver great services for the American people, and to broaden and deepen the American people’s engagement with their government."
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White House Names Ed Felten As Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer

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  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @06:39PM (#49668523)

    White House Press Goons:
    "Ed joins a growing number of techies at the White House working to further President Obama’s vision to ensure policy decisions are informed by our best understanding of state-of-the-art technology and innovation, to quickly and efficiently deliver great services for the American people, and to broaden and deepen the American people’s engagement with their government."

    Dr. Evil:
    "Riiiiiiiiight."

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @06:45PM (#49668591) Homepage

    I'm more amazed that Ed signed up.

    But seriously between this, and the moves that the FCC will actually implement Title 2 protections to uphold Net Neutrality, my hopes for humanity (and the US Govt in general) have gone up a bit.

    Fingers crossed...

    • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @07:20PM (#49668821) Journal

      I'm more amazed that Ed signed up.

      But seriously between this, and the moves that the FCC will actually implement Title 2 protections to uphold Net Neutrality, my hopes for humanity (and the US Govt in general) have gone up a bit.

      Since it is an opportunity to hopefully make some improvements, I cannot imagine him turning it down.

      I'm not exactly sure what a Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer does, other than that he would be #4 or #5 down the pecking order (at least) in the CTO list, below Megan Smith and the others.

      I'd be interested in knowing how much he worked to get the job. Some of these require quite a lot of politicking to get the position, other positions are recommended by external groups.

      I also was slightly surprised by the announcement, but considering just how low my hopes are for the federal government, I don't imagine much change. I can imagine Ed Felton getting frustrated with just how little power the position actually has. Mr Obama has gone through three CTOs already, and most of them can list their biggest achievements as "making web sites for the government". Mr Chopra basically made web-accessible veterans health records, Mr Park built healthcare.gov, and Ms Smith is mostly just trying to clean up messes on their web sites.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        If past history is anything to go by. What happens when governments bring in a publicly community minded person into a 'deputy' position? They are tooled around as propaganda pieces, whilst the same old same old keeps going along, until they finally quit in disgust and then they are attacked for being loonies, communists, unrealistic liberal thinkers or spies, often all of those at the same time. Uncle Tom Obama, the Choom Gang Coward, is not looking so cool any more and is desperate to rewrite his history

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It says something to me that the consumer advocate is named "deputy". The consumer advocate in the govevrnment should always be the boss...
        But then, I'm canadian, so he's not "my" deputy chief technology officer, so I can't complain.

      • I can imagine Ed Felton getting frustrated with just how little power the position actually has.

        He would get even more frustrated if he knew that neither Slashdot editors or readers can decide on how to spell his name.

    • I'm more amazed that Ed signed up.

      But seriously between this, and the moves that the FCC will actually implement Title 2 protections to uphold Net Neutrality, my hopes for humanity (and the US Govt in general) have gone up a bit.

      Fingers crossed...

      It's basically the time post-second-election when the Pres starts to worry less about election of his party in the future and more about doing the right thing. So we're had more DoJ civil rights investigations, more support for net neutrality, etc...

      • It's basically the time post-second-election when the Pres starts to worry less about election of his party in the future and more about doing whatever he wants .

        FTFY

      • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
        A country of freedoms !
    • Don't get too happy. The Obama administration is a complete lame duck and anything he does this late into the administration will be purely symbolic.

      We sure could have used some consumer/privacy advocates like this in the administration back in 2009, though.

      But in 2015, they're pure symbolism--only slightly better than nothing at all.

  • he's in and out with Obama.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Also, if Ed is holding this position, then there's suddenly a lot of stuff he's not allowed to say to the public. It's probably in his best interests for this to be a short-term gig.

  • Seems to be well-respected - hopefully this was an anomaly. EFF Honors Paid Eolas Patent Expert Witness [w3.org]: Doesn't seem like Felten's ongoing efforts as a paid expert for Eolas that helped return a $521M judgment against Microsoft for infringing on a web
    plug-in patent jibe too well with the EFF's raison d'etre, which includes Patent Busting. In a letter to the USPTO, previous Pioneer Award recipient Tim Berners-Lee termed the Eolas patent 'a substantial setback for global interoperability and the success of t

    • The Obama administration's US Trade Representative is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, yet another treaty to export copyright provisions friendly to the RIAA and MPAA to other countries. So it hires Ed Felten, the guy who cracked the RIAA's Secure Digital Music Initiative watermark scheme, as its deputy CTO. The left hand knows not what the right hand does.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Job Requirements:
        1) setting up private email servers
        2) deleting emails
        3) destroying backup tapes

  • Can we get one of those for our secret trade deals? Or is that off the table?

  • Just kidding, nobody cares.

  • Lyndon B. Johnson (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:20PM (#49669945)

    “It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

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