EFF Chairman Templeton: Expect More Repression of Rights in 2008 (via audio transcript)

February 26 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 20

Brad Templeton, Chairman of the Board for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), warns that more censorship and curtailing of our civil liberties looms on the immediate horizon. Judging by the bright company he keeps, including Google’s bright co-founders and other notorious West Coast futurists, this is a man and message worth listening to.

Templeton is a rare bird. He’s a realist, idealist, futurist and comedian all wrapped into one influential persona. Oddly enough, it makes total sense that this jolly man has been chosen as the chief steward of our cherished cyber-liberties. This unique balance of characteristics allows Templeton to grock big business and government motives, visualize the digital playing of tomorrow, go about his stressful job with a smile and, in the end, hold out hope for an ultimately humanizing web.

We were fortunate to catch up with Brad for an in-depth Audio Interview (read the full transcript here), in which he offered some choice predictions concerning the future of the internet and the near-term state of our digitocracy.

When asked to provide a specific forecast for the year 2008, Templeton expressed concern about the slippery slope of digital rights erosion:

Templeton (audio transcript): I’m generally an optimist in the long term, although I am actually a little bit afraid for the short term. I think we’re going to see, unfortunately, a bit more repression in 2008, we’re going to see more efforts to curtail rights, both because of the war on terror, and because of those forces that are pushing for more and more ability to do censorship.

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Interview: Brad Templeton 12/13/2007 (full length audio transcript)

February 26 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Web   Year: General   Rating: 14

The following is a transcript of an audio interview of Brad Templeton by Venessa Posavec.

V: For Memebox.com, this is Venessa Posavec, and with me is Brad Templeton, Chairman of the Board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, boardmember of the Foresight Nanotech Institute, founder of the world’s first internet based business, comedian, and self-described troublemaker. Today we’ll be talking about digital rights and privacy, as well as the future of nanotechnology. Thank you for joining us, Brad.

Brad: Good afternoon.

V: Alright, so, first question, What do you do, why are you a troublemaker, and how is that related to the future?

Brad: Well, I guess I’ve always been attracted to technologies that are in a very dynamic state that are changing and that are perhaps making the future of our society; that involves both computer technologies, and artificial intelligence technologies, nanotechnology, and a variety of other matters, so, I’ve tried to put myself where interesting things are happening and I’ve been lucky enough to get to sit and get to participate in a couple of revolutions, which usually you don’t get even one of those in a lifetime, but we seem to be getting more of those are time goes on. I’ve also been involved in a lot of political issues around these things, around free speech and privacy. I got myself to be one of the first people banned on the internet for publishing politically incorrect jokes. Now at the EFF we do the reverse, we’ve got Congress actually trying to pass a law to stop us right now. That’s very disheartening in one sense, but if they actually have to have acts of Congress to stop you, you know you’re getting their attention.

V: Tell us, what is the Electronic Frontier Foundation?

Brad: The EFF is an organization that was founded over 15 years ago, in 1991, which is devoted to civil rights, particularly free speech, but a few others, and how they are affected is the world moves into cyberspace, into online activity. It should have been clear earlier, but it quickly became clear that the traditional institutions of society didn’t really understand this new environment very well, and there were going to be all these conflicts and problems, and it was worthwhile to have an organization that would try to understand them a little better, try and give advice and work out things but also in many cases perform legal action to deal with the problems that came up.

V: And so what are some of the most important battles the EFF is currently fighting?

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Templeton Sees Self-Driven Auto-Swarms in 15 Years

March 04 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Issues   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

If Brad Templeton’s imagination manifests itself, we’ll be walking through swarms of speeding self-driven cars sooner than later. And that will be a very good thing.

As Templeton (EFF Chairman, Board member of the Nanotech Foresight Institute, and founder of the world’s first internet-based business) points out in this audio transcipt, driving cars “kills about 45,000 people every year.” In his words, “That’s 15 World Trade Centers.”

“There’s another cost too,” adds Templeton, “which is that cars produce 40% of the pollution, the greenhouse gas emissions in our society. ... Having humans not drive cars actually could solve the pollution problems, as well as the congestion problems, and the wasted time, and all the horrible horrible death.”

All are inarguably great reasons to reduce the role of human drivers.

“If you don’t have to have people drive cars, you can have drive the right car for the trip,” points out Templeton, “So, if you’re just going to the store that’s a couple of miles away – well, actually, you may not even have to go, you could just send your car to get the stuff. Rather … you’d send something maybe the size of a bicycle that would go and get the stuff.”

So when might we actually see commercially marketed self-driven vehicles?

“I think we could have them in a very short time if we wanted to,” he argues, qualifying, “I think we could have them in the neighborhood of eight to ten years, [but] I think there will be legal hurdles and so on along the way, and opposition from existing entrenched parties that will delay it to more like 15 years or so.”

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