"Daily Debrief: What tech now expects from Obama"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Daily Debrief: What tech now expects from Obama
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>> During the campaign, candidate Barack Obama talked a lot about technology. Now, President-elect Obama is putting his economic transition team in place, and technology folks are figuring large. What might that mean for Silicon Valley? Here to talk more about this is CNET News' Declan McCullagh. So today we learned that Dick Parsons, former CEO, now chairman of Time Warner, Anne Mulcahy, CEO at Xerox, and Erik Schmidt of Google are going to be part of the team that Obama is bringing in to consult -- advise about what to do about the economy. What should we make of that?
>> These are not unexpected. These are people who have endorsed Obama during the campaign, or have given him money, or helped to fundraise for him and so on. I think it's a sign that he's going to reach out to Silicon Valley, and -- but I don't think we can make too much of it, not right now. We want to see more detailed things. We want to know who his chief technology officer is going to be. We want to know what his stance is on --
>> And the White -- let me just stop you there. The White House is looking for a -- the new White House is looking for a CTO.
>> Exactly. And with the --
>> You're not up for the job, are you, by any chance?
>> I suspect not. You're probably a more likely candidate. But we now are in a position where we have to move beyond the rhetoric of the campaign. Things like, "Oh, we like net neutrality." Okay, that's fair enough. But what happens when there's a specific piece of legislation that you have to support or oppose?
>> Well, let's talk about some specifics. During the campaign, Obama told you in an interview that "I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality." So now that he's won, what should we expect?
>> Well, I think what we're going to see is the more liberal groups that have been big supporters of net neutrality, they're now emboldened. I was at a conference in San Jose yesterday where FCC Chairman Kevin Martin spoke, and you had the folks from Free Press saying, "Well, we need net neutrality extended to, say, wireless networks as well." And they were quite emphatic on that point. So this is a new battleground. But --
>> What about other issues? Cyber security? Department of Homeland Security chief Chertoff will be in the Bay area next week. If cyber security will become more of a factor at DHS, what might Obama do?
>> This is, I think, one area where the Bush Administration has not gotten the credit it should. I mean this is a controversial statement, I know. But there is someone, a high-level official at DHS, tasked to do cyber security stuff. DHS is just focused more on other things. They focus more on the threat of physical terrorism. And so you have this infrastructure in place. It probably hasn't been that well managed, but it's there. And so it seems a little odd to say that the Bush Administration hasn't done anything for cyber security. This is just going to be more centralized now in the White House.
>> What about green technology? He talked during the campaign -- check me on my stats -- but I believe spending 150 billion dollars over the next decade --
>> Where's that money going to come from?
>> Well, that's a separate question, but he talks about how it might lead to what, five million jobs?
>> But this is the question. I mean sure, you can spend 150 billion dollars on this, so -- but this is a different environment than when Obama wrote his campaign platform a half a year or a year ago.
>> Do you still believe that he'll push that?
>> I think this is going to have to be towards the bottom of his list. I -- this is a different economic environment.
>> Okay, on a Friday, you've really bummed me out. Thank you very much. And speaking with CNET News is Declan McCullagh. On behalf of the CNET News Daily Debrief, Charlie Cooper.
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