Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Tweet the People: Twitter VC Wilson and Federal CTO Chopra Talk Policy in D.C.

Ms. BoomTown went to Washington, D.C., this week to moderate a panel on the future of the digital arena for an event marking the 25th anniversary of the first .com domain.

Surprisingly, the panelists–Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and VeriSign (VRSN) CTO Ken Silva–did not talk about geo-location jet packs and augmented reality for everyone.

Instead, due to their proximity to pols and government bureaucrats, they went wonkish, talking a lot about open government, data-retention regulations and, in Wilson’s case, pondering the “privacy heist” of consumer information by Silicon Valley social networking hotshot Facebook.

Now, to be fair, Wilson is a big and early investor in rival Twitter, so he might have his bias.

But the conversation was a refreshing change from pointless discussions on location wars between Foursquare and Gowalla and reporting-free speculation about whether MySpace is or is not for sale or will spin off or not.

In fact, it was almost erudite, except for the part about how the Federal Communications Commission gave me a giant paper-filled binder of the National Broadband Plan (more on that classic D.C. tree-killing move later!).

So that you too can get all federal, here’s a video I did with Wilson and Chopra, in which they talk tech policy:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik