Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama's Tech Agenda Should Be Good For Geeks

Tuesday's election of Barak Obama puts into play what many are calling an ambitious and progressive technology policy agenda that starts off with “protect the openness of the Internet.”

Before the elections Obama had a clearly outlined agenda for technology, one that has a strong stance for an open internet supporting things like net neutrality, better broadband coverage, diversity in media and the protection of personal privacy.

The agenda is full of geek related topics and outlines support for academic areas focused on science and math, advancing medical research, alternative energy and a great deal more.

Obama plans to appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to "ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century." It’s uncertain at this point what the job will entail, but it’s a good bet that whomever accepts the position will have their hands full.

The CTO will be working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, trying to update dated systems (both hardware and software), as well as attempting to open better lines of communication between those agencies both internally and externally to the public.

Obama looks to encourage a modern communications infrastructure. He wants to spread broadband Internet access nationwide and hopes to accomplish this by reforming the Universal Service Fund, making better use of the nation's wireless spectrum, and using new tax and loan incentives to promote next-generation facilities, technologies and applications. Along with increasing broadband access Obama has taken strong stances against bandwidth caps and wants to mandate faster internet from internet service providers.

In an attempt to "improve America's competitiveness" Obama has pledged to double federal funding for basic research in science and technology. There will also be support for expanding research initiatives at American colleges and universities. We'll also see a push to make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes.

The technology agenda also address a major concern of most geeks and that is the area of intellectual property. Obama believes there is a need to update and reform the copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated. This could mean we could see major changes to the DMCA.

There is a great deal more outlined in the technology agenda, so much so that I won't try to cover it all here. If, and that is a big if, the new President lives up to the agenda we could see some major changes in the landscape for technology in this country.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you