YouTube videos of Hurricane Sandy. Instagram pictures of lines at the polls. Heated debates on Facebook. Photos tweeted by the President. Is there any doubt that communication technology is here to stay as a mainstream part of American life?
Josh Constine said it so well:
“The 2012 election was a whole different ballgame thanks to technology. We gathered together on the second screen through the debates, polls, and the election itself today.
Social media isn’t just for campaigning or communicating with the tech-savvy audience anymore. It has become possibly the most vivid and persuasive way candidates interact with their supporters. And now email has become so ubiquitous that it can deliver messages of the greatest importance, like accepting the presidency of the United States of America.”
So what is on President Obama’s tech agenda for the next four years? How will his leadership continue to impact the digital industry?
- National Broadband Plan: In his first term, President Obama set a goal of increasing broadband adoption to 90 percent by 2020. So far, little progress has been made to extend access to low-income and rural areas of the country. This item is sure to move up the priority list this term.
- Net Neutrality: With the FCC’s current “Open Internet” rules under fire both from supporters and opponents, and emerging gray areas in net neutrality policy will likely come up in the next four years.
- STEM Education: Obama will continue to support the federal government investments in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. As part of the Startup 2.0 Act, foreign graduates from American universities in these fields would be granted visas to remain here and work in the American tech industry.
- SOPA and PIPA: The Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act were controversial bills that aimed to change the way the Internet works. Search engines like Google would have to modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material among other clauses. While both SOPA and PIPA were both killed, experts believe that they might come back in some other form.
- Government Investment in the Tech Industry: The Small Business Administration can be expected to continue investing millions for early stage companies and those outside the typical startup zones of California and New York for both technology and clean energy.
- Startup 2.0 Act: Along with extending work visas to STEM graduates, the Startup 2.0 Act would create an entrepreneurship visa for foreign workers who create jobs in the U.S. and would eliminate country-specific caps on visas.
- Cybersecurity: The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would have given broad powers and immunity to government and military intelligence agencies in order to collect and share private data of customers without the use of warrants was stalled in Congress, but the White House is rumored to be considering implementing cybersecurity law by executive order.
What do you hope will make it onto President Obama’s tech agenda? Does he need to take up the public’s concerns about privacy online? What about wireless Internet? Let your voice be heard in the comment section below.