Important People #31 through #35
31. Bruce Schneier
Whether his focus is the Transportation Security Administration's latest boneheaded security procedures or the question of how secure a 12-character password really is, Bruce Schneier offers the most lucid (and most profoundly influential) musings on computer security you're likely to find online or off. Schneier's recent writings on security problems associated with the war on terrorism--abroad, at home, and online--are required reading.
32. Kevin Rose
Everyone who has a story on the Web wants Kevin Rose's users to "digg it." The former TechTV host (and colleague of Leo Laporte--see #47) founded Digg.com in 2004, bringing the power of social networking to the news. Digg's algorithm lets users submit their favorite news stories and vote them up (or down). Digg's expansion beyond technology news to mainstream news categories in June 2006 prompted BusinessWeek to slap a goofy-looking picture of Rose on its cover along with an eyebrow-raising valuation estimate of $60 million. Whether Rose is a multimillionaire or not, his site has plenty of clout on the Internet.
33. David Farber
Since the early 1990s, David Farber has been running the Interesting-People mailing list. It started as a small e-mail list for friends and colleagues (the interesting people) and turned into the mother lode of online mailing lists. Interesting-People takes on topics from 9/11 to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Net neutrality and is rife with highly opinionated commentary from some very influential people. Farber is currently a professor of computer science and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His past positions include a stint as chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission.
34. John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff
Political candidates can no longer afford to ignore political blogs, and PowerLine is among the most influential political blogs out there. This neoconservative triumvirate--three lawyers who met while attending Dartmouth College--gained their street cred during "RatherGate," when they assembled compelling arguments that the Killian documents, which Dan Rather used in a 60 Minutes newscast on George W. Bush's National Guard service, were fake. Initially, Rather and CBS News poo-pooed the PowerLine bloggers; but in the end, CBS admitted the forgery and Rather resigned.
35. Vinton G. Cerf
Chairman, ICANN Board of Directors, and vice president and chief Internet evangelist, Google
Owing to his role in developing the TCP/IP protocols on which the Net depends, Vinton G. Cerf is one of the founding fathers of the Internet. Much of his work on the protocols occurred during the 1970s and early 1980s while he was employed by DARPA, the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency. (In honor of their work, Cerf and partner Robert Kahn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.) Currently, Cerf chairs ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), and in 2005 he became Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. He has been a strong advocate of Net neutrality, notably in an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on an Interplanetary Internet for more-robust space communication systems.