State Department's Cohen on Technology and Freedom
Cutting-edge technology is being used, for good and for ill, by political groups around the world- and the U.S. is making an effort to move things towards freedom and openness. That's according to Jared Cohen, a U.S. State Department staffer who chairs the Policy Planning Staff Working Group on 21st century statecraft, who delivered the keynote address at CEA Line Shows Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Cohen, who was eight years old when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, joked about those who, "unlike me, remember the Cold War." In addition to discussing his many experiences dealing with worldwide crises, Cohen called upon those in the electronics industry to think about how their intellectual property can affect foreign policy. "Government is not always cutting edge" when it comes to developing technological solutions, he said, and that's where the private sector can come in.
Cohen, who joined the State Department in 2008 under President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, stayed on after the change in administrations and now works for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is perhaps best known for, as protests swept Iran following the questionably decided presidential election in June 2009, persuading Twitter to hold off on a planned maintenance outage so that users could continue spreading the word about events in Iran without interruption.