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Albright on her new book, 'Memo to the President Elect'From the role the Internet plays in presidential campaigning to American tech companies and their rights abroad, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lays down her vision for the future of American politics. CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi talks with...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET News.com and I'm happy to introduce our guest, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> It's good to be with you Kara. >> And one thing that you do outline in your book are the five umbrella issues and that the next president is really going to have to tackle. We know you've endorsed Senator Clinton, tell us why her and not some of the other candidates. >> Well, the umbrella issues really are just briefly, fighting terrorism in a way that does not create anti-Americanism, dealing with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty that is broken, trying to restore the good name of democracy, dealing with the negative aspects of globalization and then the whole package of issues on environment and energy. And just by naming those, it's evident that they're gonna take - one, a lot of work and a lot of consultation with other countries and Senator Clinton is somebody - one, who works very hard, but also has developed over the years incredible contacts with other world leaders and understands the perspective above the countries in addition to defending America's interests and so, I think she's the best candidate for this. >> We have seen an '04 election and again, in the 2008 election how the Internet has really played an active role in helping these candidates campaign. What is your take on that role that it's playing and how is it gonna even continue to occupy a greater role in the 2012 and 2016 elections? >> Elections are all about information. Who has it, how it is used, positively and negatively, but basically democracy cannot exist without a free flow of information. And the Internet has really provided a whole parallel system of people talking to each other and having the capability of exchanging information. Some, frankly is, you know too radical in ways of not being real information, but providing misinformation, but there is -- I think the great value of people being connected through information technology, understanding what each other's needs are and communicating those to the candidates. So, I think it's a very, very important aspect of the whole democratic process. >> Is there any surprise that Ron Paul has done so well online this year? >> Well I don't understand exactly what, you know his policy is to me is somebody who doesn't believe in government and a whole host of aspects. So, there's a group of people, I guess out there, but it's interesting he has been able to get a lot of money that way. >> Now, one thing you do talk about and you mentioned this is one of your umbrella issue is globalization and for people in the high-tech industry there's a lot of concern about taking these companies overseas to perhaps non-democratic countries, companies like Yahoo, Microsoft. Should they be forced to remove their servers from countries like that, who are not in support of democratic ideals for their citizens? >> Well, the problem is that whether the system is used in the wrong way in terms of it as it was in China of tracking people down. And that I think makes me very nervous is when the information technology is used to undermine the whole concept of freedom of speech, but -- I was in China when there were hearing being held on what was going on and I was in my room and all of the sudden the television went blank. And one of the things that you do know when you're watching television in China is there is a slight mismatch between the lips and sound because they are watching everything. And so, the question is the extent to which there is a real capability of producing information by companies that you mentioned or whether they're under control. I personally think that the only way to break down autocratic governments is by the flow of information so, but there are many aspects of the regulation of it that are complicated. >> Any suggestions for how we can move forward without having the situation in China repeated? >> Well, I think by making clear what the requirements are of those of you that are going in there and not being really held hostage to a variety of their regulations. Ultimately, they need you. And I think that the Olympics for instance are gonna provide a huge possibility for the Chinese to explain themselves to the outer world and therefore, I have been a great believer in the presence of American media in a variety of countries. For instance, I think it's absolutely true, I was in -- studied the changes in the communist system that the presence of CNN in communist countries ultimately made a huge difference. People watch it when they could. It showed the free flow of information, so, on balance I think it is very important to get information into non-democratic systems. >> What is your all-time favorite website? >> Well, I can't just speak to that. I look at a lot of different things, but I am not as literate as I should be. I admit that. For me it was a really a big deal to learn how to use a computer and I go back and I look at the various things that I've had, they all seem, you know I was very proud of my first computer. But I think that I am an example of somebody who needs a lot of help from my grandchildren. >> Do you remember what your first computer was? >> Big and then it had that one of those crazy printers with, you know the ... >> With dot matrix, dot, dot. >> Dot matrix and all that, so. >> Uh-hum. What about gadgets? Do you have a favorite gadget that you can't live without or a camera or a phone? >> Well, at the moment, I have a new car, so the GPS system is something that I consider a great gadget. However, Myrtle who talks to me all the time is constantly recalculating because I like to go my way, not hers. >> Madeleine versus Myrtle battle. Do you e-mail much? Do you have any e-mail etiquette? >> I do now e-mail a lot. >> Okay. >> I have my Blackberry and I do a lot of that. I can't -- my problem is I don't really know what the etiquette is and so, because I'm too lazy to capitalize, I often just do everything lower case it probably is conveying some meaning I shouldn't be. >> The effect of Blackberry, you should be giving yourself more credit for being techy. That's terrific. >> I love it actually, I do, yeah. >> Well, thank you very much for your time. It's been a pleasure to speak with you. I'm Kara Tsuboi reporting for CNET News.com.