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Sen. John McCain speaks to tech community

(Tyler Klaus/KTAR News)

Arizona Sen. John McCain talked with a group of Arizona technology leaders at ASU’s SkySong Innovation Center about Cyber Security, STEM and privacy yesterday.

McCain was joined at the event by fellow Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota. The two spent a lot of time on Cyber Security.

Senator John McCain says the federal government doesn’t have a policy in place when it comes to dealing with a cyber-attack.

“If we don’t have a policy as how to deal with that, then obviously our ability to protect or respond is almost non-existent,” said McCain.

He said we must come up with a policy because it’s not a matter of if a cyber-attack will happen, it’s when.

When he was asked about privacy, McCain said we have to find a middle ground between citizens wanting full encryption of their data, and terrorist using encryption to plan potential attacks.

“What we are trying to balance out here is the right of privacy of every individual at the same time national security.”

He said he thinks the fact police departments and federal agencies need to go to a federal judge with probable cause before they can look into your internet history is a good middle ground.

As for a fields studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), McCain said it’s a great way to ensure future innovation in the United States. McCain said, however, many of the people currently studying in STEM fields are from other countries.

“If they’re forced to go back to the country they came from rather than stay in the United States of America, we are losing that talent that we educated,” McCain said.

He said we have to find a way to allow the students in STEM to stay in the United States after graduation if they want to. If the students are forced to go home, they will be innovating for foreign companies and not for American based companies.

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