Nortel CEO takes swipe at clueless Feds

Nortel CEO Bill Owens took a swipe at clueless government officials during a speech on Tuesday.

Owens talked up the benefits of always-on wireless networks and location-identifying technologies (think geography-based dating services). But he said that the Feds are a little behind: "I wonder if the cabinet members, the policymakers, the key people in our government understand how quickly this is changing."

"Who in the United States government is at a level where they're seeing that vision (and saying) they must do something?" Owens said at a Progress and Freedom Foundation conference in Aspen, Co. "The FCC does a great job of looking at all the policies -- but you all realize the FCC knows a lot more than most of the people in Congress."

Owens should know. He was previously the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the second-ranking military officer in the United States.

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About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.


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