The growing complexity of issues at the intersection of technology, privacy, security, and law have brought us to a turning point similar to the revolution in scientific thinking that has taken place over the past 50 years. For centuries, scientists believed that the laws of physics described by Isaac Newton were adequate to explain the workings of the universe. By and large, for most purposes they still are. But at the edges of our understanding—in the subatomic scale and across the vastness of the universe—Newtonian physics broke down. Something in those laws didn’t hold true. The evidence we were collecting made clear that those theories were inadequate to explain new scientific questions we were facing.
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