In my post yesterday, I talked about Prof. Ed Felten’s stint as the first Chief Technologist of the US Federal Trade Commission [FTC], and his comments on that experience. Prof. Felten was successful at the FTC in at least one other important way: there will be a second Chief Technologist.
I am very glad to see that the FTC has made another excellent choice in appointing Prof. Steven M. Bellovin to the post. Dr. Bellovin is a professor of computer science at Columbia University; previously, he worked for many years at AT&T Research. He has made many contributions to the development of the Internet, having served as a member of the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Architecture Board. He describes his research interests as “Networks, security, and especially why the two don’t get along”, and is co-author of the classic book, Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker, first published in 1994, a copy of which has been on my shelves for many years. Prof. Bellovin, in his new role, has an introductory post on the Tech@FTC blog.
It seems to me that getting experts of the caliber of Ed Felten and Steve Bellovin involved in the FTC’s policy making process is a good thing from any reasonable point of view, and I think the FTC should be commended for making it happen.