The horse has always bolted

Tom General 0 Comments

Two articles covering different aspects of the fact that policy always has to follow developments in the world and is always rushing to keep up. This often leads to terrible law-making.

On privacy,  a postulated axiom:

the defense of privacy follows, and never precedes, the emergence of new technologies for the exposure of secrets

Lots of interest in the article: the discussion as to whether e.g. wire-tapping is enforced testimony is one I haven’t encountered before. I wonder if we should we all have some version of canary out there (“I have never been asked to provide my clients’ data to law enforcement or other government agencies”)?

On genetic engineering: we’ve been doing it for so long using more-or-less test-tubey methods that these hopefully discrete edits (hornless Holsteins, fast-growing salmon, non-malaria-carrying mosquitoes) shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Yes, we need to monitor very closely how they develop to see if there are any unexpected consequences, but we shouldn’t ban them up front.

We’re going to see a stream of edited animals coming through because it’s so easy

 

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