As we say good-bye to the old administration and the old technological initiatives are set by the wayside (remember the Internet is/are a bunch of tubes, classic, classic), it is important to look at President Obama's technological policy point and see a possible road for the nation's technological infrastructure. According to the White House website, it seems that Obama's team is focusing on ensuring "the full and free exchange of ideas through an open internet and diverse media outlets." The centerpoint of this is protecting network neutrality and protecting the individual's right to privacy with regards to companies' ability to breech individual's rights. The rest of the subpoints dealing with the free exchange of ideas deal with content management and distrubution, as opposed to a focus on the political structure of the Internet. Protect the openness of the Internet, encouraging diversity in media ownership and protecting children while preserving the first amendment all tend take the free exchange of ideas outside the realm of ivory tower of Washington D.C. and into the hands of those who do produce and control the media within the World Wide Web. If we are to look at Obama's choices of technological focus through the social filter, it would seem that Obama wants to remove more of the barriers to connection to the Internet. Hopefully, this will include a renew committment to municipal high speed Internet and wi-fi. The digital divide issues still affect people. There are still several area around my regions that only have dial-up, if any Internet access. These must be a prioity to insure that the nation can catch up with the rest of the connected world.
It seems that I've been focusing a lot on security and fraud on microblogging sites. However, there is more online than microblogging sites, despite my attraction to the concept. As a way of approaching cybersecurity, I finished reading the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency final report. It is an extremely long and through report of the state of cyber security and the need to protect this environment from those who seek to do harm. The main punchline from the report is the need for the next President of the United States to create a comprehensive national security strategy for cyberspace because, quoting from the report, "cybersecurity is now a major national security problem for the United States."
This would seem to be a fair assessment as both McCain and Obama had their networks hacked while they were both campaigning to become president. The argument that the rest of the American digital public needs a form of digital ID in order to protect their online interest has rightly been criticized by some as a waste of resources and a failure to recognize how cyber criminals work. I would make the argument that these recommendations fail to address the need to education the general public on how to protect themselves and the organizations that they care about/work for/whatever. To address the broad policy issues without address how these recommendations would be foolish. The only point of educating the public is a plan of creating a education plan though the National Science Foundation (NSF).While the NSF has done great work in the past and present in educating the role of science to the American public, I do not believe that the NSF is up to the task of this size. If the NSF is the only federal organizationÂ reponsible for educating laypeople who may or may not be computer literate, this project will be huge failure. I do not have a great recommendation on who else currently could help the NSF. The report does mention private-public partnerships. I believe the government should create a new operational organization to help the general public deal with the issues caused cybercrime and the influx of new technology. The focus of education must go beyond the infrastructure of the bureaucracy of the U.S. Government and must approach the general public. If it stays in the ivory tower of Washington D.C., it will hurt us all.