Barack Obama tech policy announcement

Barack Obama tech policy announcement


Hey, the guy really knows what he's doing, and has issued a great plan here

However, I'm a dilettante; Larry Lessig is the real deal, and he has much smarter stuff here:

First the importantly balanced: You'll read he's a supporter of Net Neutrality. No surprise there. But read carefully what Net Neutrality for Obama is. There's no blanket ban on offering better service; the ban is on contracts that offer different terms to different providers for that better service. And there's no promise to police what's under the technical hood (beyond the commitment already articulated by Chairman Powell): This is a sensible and valuable Net Neutrality policy that shows a team keen to get it right — which includes making it enforceable in an efficient way, even if not as radical as some possible friends would like.

Second, on the important: As you'll read, Obama has committed himself to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works. The small part of that is simple efficiency — the appointment with broad power of a CTO for the government, making the insanely backwards technology systems of government actually work.

But the big part of this is a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington.

This latter is the kind of stuff Sunlight Foundation works on.

Or, as Beth Noveck says it: "This is a major and unprecedented step. No other candidate “gets it.”

I personally figure the Dems have lots of good candidates, and I respect the way John McCain and Ron Paul actually seem to believe Republican values. More on that later.


One Comment

Culture Keeper

CTO making the government work? I don't think so.
Remember the billions spent on their old legacy systems that completely failed? What was that 2 years ago? You think it really failed? I don't.
It only worked too well and showed all their screw ups – it outed their mistakes. It was clearly too embarrassing to make "can now follow the dots" info knowable.
They don't want it to work. They can't handle it. The CTO isn't going to be able to change a we don't want to let anyone know about our failures policy.

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