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A Preview of New Congress’s Tech Policy Agenda

Here is what Cameron Wilson, the USACM Public Policy Director says about what the new Democratic-led Congress will be doing with respect to technology policy. He focuses on six big areas that have been in focus by recent administrations: innovation, offshoring, privacy, copyright, e-voting, and Internet regulation.

Here’s what’s not on that list. First, biometrics and national IDs. Even with conservatives in the minority, this probably won’t go away. It’s scary because those things don’t actually give us greater security although we might think they will. But my guess is this will continue to be something that’s discussed in the name of security. As to Homeland security, I think Democrats will step it up a notch as they’re able. (I think a Democratic president or Guiliani or McCain would also do this after ’08 though.) I also think that the Dems will put a stop to all of this wiretapping and over-the-top surveillance that’s borderline unconstitutional.

As to the six main categories, I can only hope the VVPAT bill goes national so we can make sure that when (not if) e-voting machines fail we have some way of verifying the votes cast. In the globalization arena, yes – we must deal with these visa issues. All of the talk about immigration problems is always about illegals but what about the workers who are skilled who come to this country to take jobs and then can’t get them because of visa problems on our end? That’s just silly. And yes, education’s a factor here – we need to be training more skilled tech workers here, but that’s another issue. As to IP, I can only hope the DMCA is reduced to rubble but that may be a pipe dream since so many Hollywood are tied to the Democratic party.