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    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    The Need for Judicial and Legal Technical Training

    Thank you, Neon Samurai! Someone is reading my stuff or watched my presentation at The Last HOPE. Neon Samurai said, "Tiffany Strauchs Rad had it dead on when she said that legislators and judges need only ask the experts what implications making such laws blindly will lead too ("Hackers" in her words; she's a professor of law and proud Hacker)."

    The project on which I’m working related to this is a volunteer-based non-profit that will bring together professionals and students with backgrounds in computer science, engineering and information technology alongside those with backgrounds in law, public policy, and politics. Our objective will be to create a judicial and legal education program for cyber crimes, digital forensics, intellectual property and electronic discovery providing a basic technical background for judges deciding on these cases in hopes that technical misunderstandings will be reduced thus providing more fair judicial decisions.

    Here's another idea I recently considered: Why not work to recruit and fund more people with technical backgrounds to run for political office? If we work to educate the judges and lawyers on these subjects and EFF is working to change legislation through their grassroots efforts and through the court system, let's try to get more tech-savvy people in office! Then we can hit it from all angles.

    I don't think that the future of politics, wars, and the economy is going to be about equality of the sexes, racial equality, and currency-based economics as we know it today. It's going to be about technology and how it affects these concepts: Online anonymity will blur concepts of race and sex, wars are going to be electronic over the Internet, and economics is going to be about intellectual property (or lack thereof) and new energy generated and enhanced by technology (as opposed to crude oil).

    The future of politics is going to be about the technology. But politics, law and legislation is still typically far behind reality. I think a large part of that relates to the people who are our law makers. Let's get more people in those positions who understand the technology and who will make responsible choices while understanding the ramifications. No more "series of tubes" legislators or those pushing for stronger intellectual property protection to prop up weak companies who fear competition and innovation. Also, let's get someone in office who recognizes that our civil rights also apply online.

    2 comments:

    J.D. Abolins said...

    "... providing a basic technical background for judges deciding on these cases in hopes that technical misunderstandings will be reduced thus providing more fair judicial decisions."

    Great project concept.

    I am seeing other groups with vastly different agendas trying to "educate" the courts and legislators towards problematic directions that diminish liberties.

    So it is refreshing seeing the possibility of getting good group of people to provide better guidance.

    Anita Evans said...

    Tiffany... Thanks for being a proponent for enlightening legal professionals on the use of technology.
    I am an 'in-house' trainer and although staff come to technical training, most attorneys are so worried about the billable hour that they feel more compelled to only stop to learn when a crises arises or a situation they cannot solve because they don't have the technical experience to do so.
    Over my years of experience at law firms, although they provide technical tools for attorneys to use to enhance their practice, there still remains an underlying current left over from law school that they don't need to necessarily understand all that technology has to offer them to help them legislate or practice law with efficiency and in the best interest of their clients.
    My dream and goal is to see that law schools establish legal technical curriculum alongside traditional classes so they are exposed at an early stage in their legal learning the ways in which they can use technology in their practice and understand how techology plays a large role in how their case is processed through the legal system.