John Paczkowski

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Obama Announces ‘No Tech Policy Left Behind’ Plan

obama.jpgIf Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s is to do the same to its tech-policy issues.

Obama made the now obligatory pilgrimage yesterday to Google headquarters, where he unveiled a high-tech agenda that might just as easily have been written by Google’s director of public policy and government affairs as by Obama’s campaign office.

Promising to use technology to bring openness and transparency to American democracy after seven years of “one of the most secretive administrations in our history,” Obama laid out a detailed package of technology policies designed to provide more Web accessibility to government records, strengthen online privacy, free up wireless spectrum, put high-speed broadband within reach of all Americans, reform the patent system and maintain network neutrality. “I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality,” Obama said in prepared remarks. “Because once providers start to privilege some applications or Web sites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and we all lose. The Internet is perhaps the most open network in history. We have to keep it that way.”

Impressive, yeah? But does Obama have the sort of experience needed to implement that sort of broad-reaching Silicon Valley policy wish list? Asked just this question by a Google employee, Obama replied: “Sergey and Larry didn’t have a lot of experience starting this Fortune 100 company. I suppose when they came in and started talking to [Google General Counsel] Dave Drummond about starting a company, he could have said, ‘They don’t know what they’re doing.’”