Germans head to the polls on Sunday for a national election. And while many political headlines are bemoaning what could be a “boring” victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel, the election could have serious implications for tech policy. Will Merkel’s coalition with the social democrats (SPD) survive, or might we see an unexpected contract with the up and coming libertarian-leaning “free democrats (FDP)?” Would continuity mean more government hacking, facial recognition in the subways, and stockpiling of cyber vulnerabilities, or will a possible new coalition partner like the FDP push back against the government’s ever growing powers in the digital realm? Evan is joined by Julia Schuetze, Berlin-based project manager of the Transatlantic Cyber Forum at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung.
When it comes to voter turnout, America lags behind much of the world. Could online voting help spur more civic engagement? The 2016 election was plagued by headlines about Russian hacking, faulty voting machines, and frustration over the Electoral College. But with all the concern around cybersecurity and the integrity of elections, is online voting really the solution? Does the Internet make elections less or more secure? What can the U.S. learn from countries like Estonia? Evan is joined by Andrew Weinreich, tech entrepreneur and host of the podcast, “Predicting Our Future.”
When it comes to tech policy, New York seems to lead the way in… interesting ideas. The government has an important role in making sure our roads are safe for driving. This means there’s nothing abnormal about a police officer checking their blood alcohol levels with a breathalyzer. But the “textalyzer” is a different animal: law enforcement scanning phones to see if drivers were “texting” before an accident raises a host of privacy and cybersecurity concerns, among other issues. Manufactured by Cellebrite, an Israel-based tech company, the textalyzer is still months away from coming to market. But New York is considering legislation that would authorize law enforcement to use the textalyzer when it’s available for purchase. Are these types of searches legal under current case law, and what would they mean for civil liberties? Evan is joined by Dan King, an Advocate at Young Voices. For more, see his op-ed.
When it comes to immigration policy, the headlines are naturally focused on DACA, Dreamers, and illegal immigration. But many in Congress are also looking to reduce legal immigration, namely Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), who introduced the RAISE Act, aimed at cutting green cards issued in half over the next ten years. What kind of impact does legal immigration have on the tech sector, and how might the RAISE Act change that? What else could Congress do to address problems in our immigration system without stifling entrepreneurship and innovation? Evan is joined by Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Graham Owens, legal fellow at TechFreedom. For more, see Alex’s post on the RAISE Act.