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Obama To Unveil Plans At The Googleplex

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Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama will be speaking at the Googleplex tonight to outline his plan to ensure not only an open Internet, but also an open government that utilizes technology to solve pressing national issues.

In a conference call this afternoon, representatives from the Obama campaign helped to shed additional light on the nine-page plan, much of which we’ll summarize here. The Obama camp maintains their candidate’s technological approach is the most comprehensive and boldest of any plans lain forth by other candidates.

Obama maintains that technology is key to solving many of the problems facing the United States in the 21st Century. An important element in this philosophy is the appointment of a national Chief Technology Officer, who will oversee the implementation of the proposed "transparent" government. 

The promise to uphold Network Neutrality principles was reiterated, as was a commitment to ensuring "the full and free exchange of information among Americans through an open Internet and diverse media outlets.

Among others, Obama’s plan includes the following:

Protecting the openness of the Internet

–    Making sure users are free to access content, to use applications, and to attach personal devices to the network. They also have a right to receive accurate and honest information about service plans
–    Preventing monopolistic and duopolistic broadband providers from discriminating against websites that are unwilling to pay for equal treatment 

Encouraging diversity in media ownership

–    Under this umbrella Obama includes the creation of "Public Media 2.0," which will be the vehicle by which "the Sesame Street of the Digital Age" and other educational programs will be created
–    Though it was unclear exactly what was meant by this, Obama "will require that parents have the option of receiving parental controls software that not only blocks objectionable Internet content but also prevents children from revealing personal information through their home computer."

Safeguarding the right to privacy

–    Making sure data bases used for fighting terrorism are not used for other purposes
–    Updating surveillance laws so that intelligence gathering is done under rule of law
–    Upping the FTC’s enforcement budget to better fight against cyber-criminals, phishers and spammers

Opening up government to the citizens

–    Creation of the Chief Technical Officer to ensure the government and its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services to do their jobs
–    Making government data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities.
–    The ability for citizens to watch a live feed of Executive Branch appointees as they conduct significant business
–    Creation of a web site, a search engine, and other web tools that enable citizens easily to track online federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts with government officials.
–    Allowing the public to review and comment on the White House website for five days before signing any non-emergency legislation.
–    Requiring Cabinet officials to have periodic national online town hall meetings to answer questions and discuss issues before their agencies.
–    Reform and use of the Universal Service Fund (funded by phone taxes) to ensure broader broadband deployment and better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum

Obama To Unveil Plans At The Googleplex
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