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What Obama’s Victory Means for Technology

by Cally Carswell 

Tags: Technology, Election 2008, Barack Obama, technology policy, Chief Technology Officer, Change.gov, Information Week, Personal Democracy Forum, techPresident, CNet,

Though it received little attention in the campaign, technology policy has been on Obama’s presidential agenda for some time.

Almost a year ago, Obama revealed his plan to create a new cabinet position for a Chief Technology Officer, who “will ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies, and services for the 21st century,” according to Obama’s new web site, Change.gov. Wired’s speculative laundry list of candidates for the post includes everyone from Google CEO Eric Schmidt to Dr. Evil.

Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Forum and techPresident, tells Information Week that, “If someone of the caliber of Eric Schmidt were to be asked to serve this country in the White House, I think you would see a far quicker adoption of policies that not only help the tech industry but help the tech industry help the country and the world.”

Obama has also pledged steadfast support for net neutrality, digitizing medical records, and expanding broadband access. Information Week calls him the “first presidential candidate to unveil a wide-reaching and in-depth technology agenda.” However, there are potential downsides of an Obama presidency for technology, CNet" href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10082672-38.html" target="_blank">writes CNet. For instance, “For technology firms, a substantial downside—and one that's difficult to overstate—is how hostile a solidly Democratic Congress and White House could be toward free trade.”