Where 2016 US Presidential Contenders Stand On Tech Issues - InformationWeek

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2/14/2016
12:06 PM
Michelle Maisto
Michelle Maisto
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Where 2016 US Presidential Contenders Stand On Tech Issues

From fighting terror with tech to backing net neutrality to worrying about AI, here's a look at what some of the 2016 US Presidential hopefuls have on their tech agendas.
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(Image: TriggerPhoto/iStockphoto)

(Image: TriggerPhoto/iStockphoto)

Technology has long been a way for presidents to drive the economy and appear modern. John F. Kennedy promising to put a man on the moon was a tech brag -- an assertion of our science and technology might and muscle.

Today, technology is a fascinating lens through which to consider the 2016 presidential hopefuls. Technology is still tied to patriotic bragging rights. But its prevalence in every aspect of our lives -- from our communications systems to our utilities -- makes it even more intrinisic than ever when it comes to concerns such as national security and civil rights. Technology is even meaningfully entwined with immigration policy.

The 2016 Presidential hopefuls have positions on net neutrality that run down party lines. And, nearly every one of them is clear about equating cyber security with national security. Sill, the attention that their campaigns give to high-tech topics is telling.

[See 9 Most Tech-Savvy Presidents.]

For example, Donald Trump, the Republican winner of the New Hampshire primary, makes no mention of technology on his website (at least that we could find), though in interviews he has expressed reservations about artificial intelligence. Bernie Sanders, the Democrat winner of the New Hampshire primary, dedicates considerable real estate to it on his site FeelTheBern.org, addressing the Patriot Act, mass surveillance, and net neutrality.

Ben Carson has created a proposal for establishing an organization that would consolidate tech efforts, in the way that NASA consolidated space efforts. Jim Gilmore sums up his cybersecurity position in two rather thin sentences.

In the following pages, we offer a summary of the technology positions of the candidates who are still in the race, in time for the President's Day holiday and headed into the South Carolina Primary. Take a look, and let us know in the comments section below which candidate has your vote on tech issues.

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Michelle Maisto is a writer, a reader, a plotter, a cook, and a thinker whose career has revolved around food and technology. She has been, among other things, the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise Magazine, a reporter on consumer mobile products and wireless networks for ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2016 | 11:17:48 AM
Apple
And, of course, Donald Trump has been very vocal about Apple refusing to create a back door for the San Bernardino phone.


Hey, where's Libertarian candidate John McAfee on here?
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 5:25:30 PM
Re: Artificial intelligence
It isn't that the President has to be able to handle cybersecurity, but he needs good people around him to help him make the decisions that are gooing to make a difference. I'm nervous about anyone who is opposed to net neutrality, since it seems the only people for it are big business and their supporters. As an individual and a small business, I look at net neutrality as a way to counter greed from big business. I like this take on the candidates, t's one more reason to like my first pick.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2016 | 11:18:04 PM
Re: Net Neutrality and you
I think this was a very insightful attempt to approach a hot topic --- the presidential race --- from a fresh angle than what the 24-hour news channels and other pop-culture media outlets keep hammering. Then again, the topci opens up these commenting boards to all the political fighting that we usually turn to tech sites to avoid. Anyway we can discuss this topic without getting partisan and petty?
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2016 | 1:49:04 PM
Bias much?
Anyone else notice that the Democrats get two pages each, but the Republicans only get one page? Hardly objective.

I could go on and on about the studies of psychology etc, but repetition alone merits a note.

Just saying.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2016 | 1:08:17 PM
Re: Net Neutrality and you
>>private email.

I don't necessarily disagree with you in theory but keep in mind government resources are getting hacked as easily as any private ones. They shouldn't be using email period if anything too sensitive.

Hillary did what she did in a misguided attempt to maintain control, safety from politcal based leaks because she knew this presidential run was coming. I guarantee you this was a calculated move, not ignorance from lack of IT advice. And do note no one hacked her email, we are only seeing because of internal investigation. So from pure tech standpoint, it did not backfire, may have been done better than gov servers.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 6:56:21 PM
Bernie Sanders
Bush's campaign also believes that "every part of our lives except for education has been transformed by technology and information."
Wait, what?
Sanders has tweeted, "I worry very much about kids growing up in a society where they think, 'I'm not going to talk about this issue...because someone may think I'm a terrorist.'" He voted against the Patriot Act"
What more can I say? I like this guy.
Datalas
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Datalas,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2016 | 3:41:24 PM
Net Neutrality and you
If mega Internet providers own the lines and the access to the web they can influence what you have access to. 

To me net neutrality means that my internet provider can't choose who I can see faster or slower and as a business I should not have to expose to extortion by local Internet Service Providers (ISP) to let my content be consumed by its users.

 

As a content provider I can create dedicated connections to avoid congestion or to optimize my delivery of content to consumers so I don't need pay the ISP to block my competitors (if you give me preference you in effect block other content).  As a business I can chose where I host content and how I make it accessible to the ISP that provide the customers that I care about?

As the world uses the same Internet logic we should not support governmental influence or private exploitation by ISP for preference on content.

When congestion occurs it is either because of an anomaly in temporary traffic patterns or under sized connections.  We in the US have allowed companies to say you can have unlimited Internet and some offer speeds of 1 Gbps but we don't hold them accountable for undersized pipes in the middle of the network.  The only reason congestion is an issue is that we are not holding the people selling access from being accountable for the quality of the access.

In England the physical connection is a separate purchase from your ISP so you can choose the method of connectivity (like cable or fiber) and you can choose the ISP that provided you the most value.

 

I find a total lack of the presidential candidates from having competent and independent IT advises very scary.  

Remember the people running seem to be ok with officials using personal email systems to do governmental work, which for me, shows a lack of access to competent IT consulting even if at the time that was not illegal it was still a bad idea.  Use this display of logic when they talk about Net Neutrality and it becomes clear whether they seem to only care about deep pocket contributors and not what is best for the people they serve or what is the simplest for them or what is in the best interest of the voter.  Remember end users would love not to have to remember long passwords and hate the idea of having to change them every x number of days but as enterprises we temper passion with risk. 

We must look past the emotional sound bytes to see where the packet stops. (sorry felt the need to geek this out).

 
Datalas
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Datalas,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2016 | 3:17:02 PM
Encryption with a back door is not Encryption but the illusion of security
We have seen with Manning and Snowden that if the government has access to it it will be at risk of being leaked. We have seen with providing back doors is that the knowledge of them leaks and this becomes the attack vector of bad people.

If we treat encrypted content as we treat thoughts in people's heads as being private and subject to right from self-encrypination then this becomes a non-issue and we just look at other areas of public behavior that proves violation of laws.

The US can only enforce laws with in our boarders, so software written in other countries can have true encryption with no back doors and this will drive software development work away from the US developers as the rest of the world will not want the US to have the decryption keys, as expressed by the Snowden fallout.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 12:37:18 PM
Re: Artificial intelligence
Ha! I was think same thing when I read that in article. He probably calls his computer a loser when he can't find the power button. :-)

I'm wondering if we offend any Trump supporters. My guess is his supporters don't read anything like this site, at least the ones I've seen interviewed on TV so far.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 12:34:54 PM
Re: Artificial intelligence
One of the most important things that Americans should be concerned about is cybersecurity. I think Homeland Security is doing a good job, I just want to make sure our next president is highly capable of handling the technology around national security. 
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