Friday, September 28, 2001

How lawyers work Great quote by Lessig today in a NY Times roundtable between him and Whitfield Diffie, Ray Kurzweil, Peter Neumann, Bruce Sterling, and Severo Ornstein:
The real problem we face is not slowness in technological innovation. The real problem is slowness in legal and civil rights innovation in response to the technological change. It was not until the late 1960's that the Supreme Court finally held that wiretapping was regulated by the Fourth Amendment.

The reason for this failing has lots to do with the way lawyers think. We are reactive traditionalists. It is hard to think creatively. But if we used the same kind of innovative creativity that our Framers used in crafting our government, we could craft creative balances between technological capabilities and human weakness. Technologies can't be guaranteed to be used only for the good. But technologies placed within well-crafted institutional structures can be made more likely safe than not.
(Via Tomolak)


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