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Obama Visits Google, Unveils “Innovation Agenda”

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Barack Obama, one of the top Democrat candidates for President in next year’s election, visited Google yesterday and talked about his technology industry platform, among other things. Here’s video of his speech:

Obama unveiled his “Innovation Agenda”, his set of principles related to the tech industry that would shape his policy if he became President. You can read them in depth here, but the bullet points are:

  • Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Information through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets
  • Protect the Openness of the Internet
  • Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership
  • Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment – Obama will create Public Media 2.0, a sort of PBS for the internet age
  • To ensure that powerful databases containing information on Americans that are necessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes, Barack Obama supports restrictions on how information may be used and technology safeguards to verify how the information has actually been used.
  • Obama supports updating surveillance laws and ensuring that law enforcement investigations and intelligence-gathering relating to U.S. citizens are done only under the rule of law.
  • Make government data available online in universally accessible formats
  • Establishing pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry
  • Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public
  • Restoring the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials.
  • Lifting the veil from secret deals in Washington with 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.
  • Giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days before signing any non-emergency legislation.
  • Bringing democracy and policy deliberations directly to the people by requiring his Cabinet officials to have periodic national online town hall meetings to answer questions and discuss issues before their agencies.
  • Employing technologies, including blogs, wikis and social networking tools, to modernize internal, cross-agency, and public communication and information sharing to improve government decision-making.
  • Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Redefine “broadband” in government policy as speeds considerably larger than the current 200kbps
  • Unleashing the Wireless Spectrum: Obama will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our public airwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest.
  • Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access, and Obama believes we can get true broadband to every community in America.
  • Lower Health Care Costs by Investing in Electronic Information Technology Systems
  • Double federal science and research funding for clean energy projects
  • Invest in the development of the next generation of biofuels
  • Invest in a digital smart energy grid.
  • Upgrade Education to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century
  • Obama also believes that we must strengthen math and science education
  • ensure that we can retain and grow high-paying jobs in fast-growing sectors in the sciences and technology rather than exporting those jobs to lower cost labor markets abroad
  • Modernize Public Safety Networks
  • doubling federal funding for basic research
  • Make the R&D Tax Credit Permanent
  • Reform Immigration
  • improvement in our visa programs
  • We should allow immigrants who earn their degrees in the U.S. to stay, work, and become Americans over time.
  • Promote American Businesses Abroad
  • Barack Obama believes we need a business and regulatory landscape in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can thrive, start-ups can launch, and all enterprises can compete effectively while investors and consumers are protected against bad actors that cross the line.
  • Protect American Intellectual Property Abroad and at Home
  • Reform the Patent System

TechCrunch has thoughts on these points and how they affect the Web 2.0 world.

Obama isn’t the first presidential candidate to appear at Google. Check out John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, and Mike Gravel. Hopefully Republican front-runners Giuliani and Romney will join up and speak at Google soon, too.

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