Note: This post was a little delayed but the information it conveys is as timely as ever.
On November 12, 2015, The Technology Association of Georgia (www.tagonline.org) hosted its annual TAG Legislative Roundtable. According to TAG this is an “annual event focused on bringing legislators, researchers, and industry representatives together to discuss emerging science and technology policy issues in Georgia. I was able to participate this year and wanted to share a few insights from the event.
The first speaker was Dr. Sean Wise, host of The Naked Entrepreneur on the Oprah Winfrey Network (http://nakedentrepreneur.blog.ryerson.ca). His presentation was called “Unicorn Hunting in the 21st Century.” Dr. Wise used Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures’ definition that “a unicorn company is a young company that has received a valuation of $1 billion or more from private investors, public markets, or a corporate acquisition. They are commonly made in markets that are adjacent to or completely different from the dominant incumbents but that represent a very large market opportunity for private investors.” He reviewed what a unicorn looks like, some example unicorns, why unicorns are important in our innovation economy, and what can a community do to encourage and nurture unicorns to develop in their location so they can reap the benefits.
Next up was the “Unmanned Aerial Systems Policy Panel” which discussed privacy, law enforcement, operations, and business and commercial use of UAS. The panel consisted of Captain Sharif Chochol of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (http://www.columbiacountyso.org); Mario Evans, Interim Airport Director of Peachtree DeKalb Airport (http://www.pdkairport.org); William E Lovett, Managing Director of Unmanned Systems at Phoenix Air Group (http://phoenixair.com/home.html); and Elizabeth Wharton, attorney at Hall Booth Smith, PC (http://www.hallboothsmith.com/component/attorney/attorney?attid=531). These four gave a comprehensive overview of the different aspects of UAS that their respective fields are dealing with. The first message they wanted to make clear is that “drones” is not the correct terminology for what we are talking about. The Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) classifies the use of UAS in the national airspace as public (non-military), civil (commercial), and hobbyist (model aircraft). The presenters emphasized the safety concerns of these UAS especially during a holiday season where more than 1.2 million would be sold. Resources offered included the FAA website http://www.faa.gov/uas/ and an infographic for the public as to what can they do with their devices that you can find at http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Following a break, Chris Mathers (http://www.chrismathers.com) a crime, terrorism and security expert from Canada, gave an overview of cyber-threats and other security issues relating to data and information from a government standpoint. Mr. Matthews worked undercover for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has a colorful history as well as an engaging style.
The rest of the afternoon was the Georgia Senate and House Science & Technology Cyber Security Study Committee. Presentations included Akamai, Cisco, Dell Secureworks, NHS, Secure ID Coalition, Georgia Tech, and others. For more information contact Heather Maxfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.