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Quick Thoughts on Obama’s Win

What does Obama’s big win yesterday augur for CDT’s work on Internet policy?

Well, about a year ago the Obama campaign issued a very thoughtful position paper on technology and innovation. It does an excellent job identifying the key issues, and CDT stands ready to provide counsel and input to the new administration as it gets into the details. We look forward to the opportunity to have a productive working relationship with the Obama administration on matters relating to the Internet, innovation, and free expression.

In terms of specific areas where CDT sees an opening for progress, I would emphasize at least three.

–Using technology to make government more accessible and user-friendly. The Obama campaign was incredibly successful in harnessing online social networking and other Internet tools to inform and involve voters and supporters. Hopefully the Obama Administration can use the lessons it has learned to improve the way citizens interact with government.

–Preserving the Internet’s open character. The Obama Administration can be expected to place a high value on the Internet’s unique openness to independent innovation and speech. This should be true domestically, where the open architecture of the Internet should be protected against encroachment by either government or private actions. And the Administration should seek to promote Internet openness in other countries, perhaps including through support of efforts like the Global Network Initiative that CDT recently helped launch.

–Protecting citizen’s privacy. CDT is hopeful that the Obama Administration, together with the next Congress, will take an active interest in trying to update and modernize privacy protections for the digital age. The goal should be to provide citizens with more control over how their personal information is collected and used. This will require working to tighten privacy laws, and also to improve technology-based tools that can empower Internet users.

This isn’t a comprehensive list; CDT earlier set forth its broad platform for a new Administration and Congress. And of course the new Administration will have lots of priority issues to grapple with, starting with the ongoing economic turmoil. But based on Obama’s platform as a candidate, CDT is optimistic that key Internet and technology issues will be in the mix.