Social Responsibility before he created
EPIC 24 years ago).
Can you share some of your remarks
from the awards ceremony? I understand that you spoke about “
altruism”—can you explain why you
brought up that term, especially in the
context of privacy and civil liberties?
I attempted to channel Stephen Col-
bert when I observed that there is an im-
portant word that was highly relevant to
the common interests of everyone pres-
ent, but which otherwise seems to be
sorely lacking in Washington. That
word is altruism (“unselfish concern
for the welfare of others,” including
in this context their human rights
and privacy). Rush, Ralph, and Marc
all share that quality, as did one of
long been a champion of automobile
and consumer safety. This was a delight-
ful venue, and it was quite an honor to
be among those leaders.
The event also genuinely reflected my
long and polymorphic association with
Marc Rotenberg (one-time executive
director of Computer Professionals for
ON JUNE 6, Peter G. Neumann, computer
security’s “designated holist”—a name
given to him by ISCA’s Information Security magazine—received an award
designed to recognize not just his contributions to the field of systems design, but the broader impact his work
has made to privacy, civil liberties, and
democracy. Neumann was presented
with the Lifetime Achievement Award
at the Champions of Freedom event
held by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). During the reception, Neumann highlighted the need
to counter the abuse of emerging technologies by promoting common sense,
reality, and dependable engineering.
Here, he elaborates on those ideas.
What was it like to receive EPIC’s Lifetime Achievement Award? It seems like
a good fit for someone who takes a big-picture view of systems, privacy, and behavioral and technological failures.
I was delighted to have Rush Holt
introduce me, highlighting many of my
holistically motivated interests. Rush
has been enormously valuable when it
comes to science and technology, including his efforts to help achieve greater integrity, fairness, and for quite a long
time huge support for our community
efforts to have much greater trustworthiness to our elections.
The recipients of the Champions of
Freedom Awards were Alex Padilla and
Matthew Dunlap, Secretaries of State
for California and Maine, both of whom
have been enormously effective in striving for greater integrity in elections.
Ralph Nader was also present, having
Promoting Common Sense,
Reality, Dependable Engineering
Peter G. Neumann traces a lifetime devoted to identifying computing risks.
DOI: 10.1145/3283226 Leah Hoffmann
[CONTINUED ON P. 127]
“Altruism is perhaps
the most important
virtue we need to
in times of adversity.”