On page 24, Declan McCullagh writes about efforts to force companies to build "back doors" into new technologies to make government snooping easier ("The Feds Want a Backdoor Into Your Computer. Again"). McCullagh, 43, says he's "been online since 1988," when he signed on via a local university's Sun-3 workstation. "What surprises me is how much we view today's Internet as inevitable," he explains. "It wasn't. We could have ended up with an archipelago of centralized services-CompuServe, Prodigy, The Source, AOL-with no room for startups. Preserving that decentralization is more important than enacting 324 pages of 'net neutrality' regulations." Today, McCullagh is the founder of Recent.io, a company that aims to index the news and make personalized recommendations about what individual users will want to see.
In "How to Break the Internet" (page 20), Geoffrey Manne, along with co-author R. Ben Sperry, demystifies the net neutrality debate. Manne is the executive director of the International Center for Law and Economics, which he started after Microsoft asked him to run a law and economics outreach program and he realized "other companies would have an interest in supporting quality law and economics research" as well. Manne, 43, resides in the Pacific Northwest-in part, he says, because "I relish debating with everyone around. I think I'm one of six libertarians living in Portland."
Adam Thierer is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In "Uncle Sam Wants Your Fitbit" (page 30), he explores the government's attempts to regulate the so-called Internet of Things. Thierer, 36, has authored or edited eight books, the latest of which is Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom (Mercatus). The term permissionless innovation, he says, "refers to the notion that experimentation with new technologies and business models should generally be permitted by default unless a compelling case can be made that a new invention or business model will bring serious harm to individuals."