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Senator Barack Obama on Key Technology Issues - Interview

Senator Barack Obama on Key Technology Issues - Interview

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Published by Alfonso
El candidato a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos de América en 2008, Barack Obama, es entrevistado por el portal TechCrunch sobre sus posiciones en política tecnológica.
El candidato a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos de América en 2008, Barack Obama, es entrevistado por el portal TechCrunch sobre sus posiciones en política tecnológica.

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Published by: Alfonso on Jan 15, 2008
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05/28/2010

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Michael Arrington
Senator Barack Obama(official site), who’s  polling a strong secondin New Hampshire, is the next presidential candidate to step up and answer our technology-related policy questions.The score card is now even, with two democrat (Obama andEdwards) and tworepublican (RomneyandMcCain) candidates. Last week Senator Obama released a position paper on tech.Our questions take a deeper dive on some of the key issues.The senator is continuing to take a very strong stance on net neutrality. He mayunderstand the issue - and its importance to the tech community - better than any other candidate. But we didn’t stop there. Senator Obama also outlined a broad strategy for increasing privacy protection. Other key points below:
He doesn’t feel the FCC went far enough in promoting competition with theupcoming 700MHz spectrum auctions.
He supports Federal intervention to encourage more ubiquitous broadbandInternet access and delivering technology to schools.
He wants to keep theInternet tax free, and he wants to “close the loophole” thatallows venture capitalists to recognize investment profits as capital gains.
He supports temporary increases in the H1-B visa program from the currentlevelsHe plans to make big investments in renewable energy, and supports caps oncarbon emissions.
 
The full transcript is below.
Q&A With Senator Barack Obama
Net Neutrality
 
Michael Arrington:
What is your position on net neutrality? Specifically, should tiered pricing be allowed by the access providers?
Senator Barack Obama:
As I stated during my visit to Google on November 14, I willtake a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality. The Internet is themost open network in history. We have to keep it that way. I will prevent network  providers from discriminating in ways that limit the freedom of expression on theInternet. Because most Americans only have a choice of only one or two broadbandcarriers, carriers are tempted to impose a toll charge on content and services,discriminating against websites that are unwilling to pay for equal treatment. This couldcreate a two-tier Internet in which websites with the best relationships with network  providers can get the fastest access to consumers, while all competing websites remainin a slower lane. Such a result would threaten innovation, the open tradition andarchitecture of the Internet, and competition among content and backbone providers. Itwould also threaten the equality of speech through which the Internet has begun totransform American political and cultural discourse. Accordingly, network providersshould not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of someweb sites and Internet applications over others. This principle will ensure that the newcompetitors, especially small or non-profit speakers, have the same opportunity asincumbents to innovate on the Internet and to reach large audiences. I will protect theInternet’s traditional openness to innovation and creativity and ensure that it remains a platform for free speech and innovation that will benefit consumers and our democracy.
PrivacyMA:
Should the government involve itself in protecting personal privacy online? Sincecurrent measures are doing little to solve the problem, what do you think can be done toaddress the issue?
BO:
Dramatic increases in computing power, decreases in storage costs and the hugeflows of information that characterize the digital age bring enormous benefits, but alsocreate risk of abuse. We need sensible safeguards that protect privacy in this dynamicnew world. As president, I will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age andwill harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy.Specifically, I will do the following:To ensure that powerful databases containing information on Americans that arenecessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes, Isupport restrictions on how information may be used and technology safeguards toverify how the information has actually been used.
 
I support updating surveillance laws and ensuring that law enforcement investigationsand intelligence-gathering relating to U.S. citizens are done only under the rule of law.I will also work to provide robust protection against misuses of particularly sensitivekinds of information, such as e-health records and location data that do not fitcomfortably within sector-specific privacy laws.I will increase the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement budget and will step upinternational cooperation to track down cyber-criminals so that U.S. law enforcementcan better prevent and punish spam, spyware, telemarketing and phishing intrusions intothe privacy of American homes and computers.
Mobile Spectrum Auctions and RulesMA:
What is your position on the mobile spectrum? Should government force openaccess or should it simply auction it off to the highest bidder and let the carriers decidewhat types of services to offer?
BO:
I will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our publicairwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest. As president, I will demand areview of existing uses of our wireless spectrum. My bottom line is that rural Americaneeds more and better wireless broadband service, networks should be as open toinnovation as possible, and the consumer needs greater freedom and choice. We mustmake sure the nation’s airwaves are licensed to maximize their public benefit. Auctionshave most recently been conducted without sufficient incentives to encourage full useand competition. With respect to the upcoming 700 megahertz auction, many experts believe that this spectrum in question is the last remaining available space in theairwaves for auction with the promise to get wireless broadband deployed to everycommunity. I would have gone further than the Federal Communications Commissionhas done to date to make sure that this spectrum will be used and open to innovation, but I support the direction the FCC is moving in toward more competition andencouraging new entrants into this market and I will direct my administration’s FCC tocontinue moving in that direction.
The Digital DivideMA:
What is your opinion of the E-rate program? What else can be done to increaseaccess to technology in our schools? What can be done outside of schools to address thedigital divide more generally?
BO:
I consider the E-rate program a success because it has helped make broadbandnearly ubiquitous in America’s public schools and I am honored that Reed Hundt andBill Kennard, the FCC Chairmen under President Clinton who oversaw the plan’screation and implementation, have chosen to endorse my candidacy for President.Unfortunately, we have not made further progress under the Bush Administration and Iwill recommit America to ensuring that our schools, libraries, households and hospitalshave access to next generation broadband networks. I will also make sure that there areadequate training and other supplementary resources to allow every school, library andhospital to take full advantage of the broadband connectivity. In terms of bridging thedigital divide outside of schools, I will reform the two major programs which can drive

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