Orson Swindle, Fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation
After seven years as a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, Swindle left in June to join a Washington think tank. There he's working on a project called Securing the Internet.
Photograph by David Deal
Fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation
Interview by Larry Greenemeier
IT's Loaded Gun
"Information and the flow of information are what make our economy buzz; it's the currency of our age. But technology has run out too far ahead of security. It's like picking up a loaded pistol--you can hurt yourself if you don't know what you're doing."
Swindle was the guest of honor at the Marine Corps' recent 230-year anniversary celebration. Nov. 10, 1775 "is a date that everyone should know," he says. Swindle flew 205 fighter missions over Vietnam, won two Purple Hearts, and was held in North Vietnam as a prisoner of war for more than six years.
Go Yellow Jackets!
Swindle met up in Atlanta with some of his Georgia Tech frat brothers recently. "A couple of us were kicking around with E-mail, and it got us back together. E-mail's such a wonderful thing."
Military history is a big favorite; he's currently turning the pages of fellow Marine and former Navy Secretary James Webb's "Born Fighting," about the role of Scots-Irish immigrants in American history.
"Businesses are responsible for the vast majority of the technology infrastructure. If they don't get the job done securing that technology, the government will get involved. But the government tends to move slowly."
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.