Tech & The District » Preview Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Congratulations Mr President-elect! Wed, 05 Nov 2008 20:25:00 +0000 duncanburns After a long race and two eminently capable final choices for the American people, we now know who’s going to be taking over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in January.

Many others have the details on how and why the race was won – and in no small part because of the use of recent online innovations in voter engagement, activation and money-raising. For comprehensive analyses of the race, check out the usual suspects like CNN.

However, for those of us wondering what this all means, the team here at H&K DC has been putting some thought into just that…

We have just published a preview of the President-elect’s agenda – click here to check it out. It includes our sense on what those of us in the tech space need to be thinking about. I’ve included our initial thoughts below.

Advancing Technology:  Creating a Transparent and Connected Democracy

Rarely does anything move as swiftly as technology – especially not governments. The challenge of adopting policies that can keep pace with ever-evolving technological advances is a significant one. Almost all American lawmakers would agree that it is critical to get the laws and regulations governing the development of technology right in order to ensure the nation’s leading role in global innovation and promote a healthy U.S. economy. However, opinions vary on what exactly it would mean to “get it right,” and in the new political environment in the United States, it is safe to say the Democratic Party’s opinions are likely going to be the ones that are enacted into law.

To begin, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his commitment to creating a transparent and connected democracy, in part through opening up the government to citizens and using technology to “reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks.” In essence, Obama is likely to apply some of the technologies he used during his successful campaign to the federal government. Hardware and software companies, along with consultants who can provide expertise to the government on how to achieve those goals, could find business opportunities to share their knowledge and products with the government.

Obama also has said he would create a new position of the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to “ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.” This demonstrates the importance Obama will place on network safety and cyber security.

Potential business opportunities for technology companies may also exist with other Obama proposals, such as his promotion of health information technology, encouragement to modernize public safety networks with new technologies, and support for “green” technological advances to address energy and environment issues. In particular, a much talked about second economic stimulus package that is likely to be considered in the lame duck session or early in 2009 will almost assuredly contain a big infrastructure and environmental component, and technology companies should find good opportunities to work on that initiative.

However, it is very likely that companies will need to show a commitment to American job creation in their messaging to avoid scrutiny and possible regulation. As you’ll note elsewhere in this report, Obama has made it clear that he will take action to reward those companies that create American jobs and remove any incentives for sending jobs overseas.

Given the speed of movement in the technology industry, the political appointments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Commerce Department of an Obama Administration will be critical

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