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Democrats

Journal: Larry Lessig Endorses Barack Obama, Praises Tech Policy

Journal by Kuma-chang
Yesterday Larry Lessig posted a lengthy endorsement for Barack Obama on his blog. In it he criticized Hillary Clinton for embracing the status quo of lobbying and influence in Washington, and declared his support for Senator Obama based on his personal traits as well as his policy platform. Of Obama's tech agenda, Lessig wrote:

"As the technology document released today reveals, to anyone who reads it closely, Obama has committed himself to important and importantly balanced positions.

"First the importantly balanced: You'll read he's a supporter of Net Neutrality. No surprise there. But read carefully what Net Neutrality for Obama is. There's no blanket ban on offering better service; the ban is on contracts that offer different terms to different providers for that better service. And there's no promise to police what's under the technical hood (beyond the commitment already articulated by Chairman Powell): This is a sensible and valuable Net Neutrality policy that shows a team keen to get it right -- which includes making it enforceable in an efficient way, even if not as radical as some possible friends would like.

"Second, on the important: As you'll read, Obama has committed himself to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works. The small part of that is simple efficiency -- the appointment with broad power of a CTO for the government, making the insanely backwards technology systems of government actually work.

"But the big part of this is a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington."

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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