How important were technology issues in last week’s Congressional election? Not very – at least according to Bruce Mehlman, the former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy in the George W. Bush administration and a prominent Washington DC based Republican expert on technology policy.
As Mehlman, who is currently Executive Director of the Technology CEO Council and Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, joked with me when we Skyped last week, there were probably about “ten voters” whose vote last week was influenced by technology concerns.
But while the election wasn’t shaped by technology issues, decisions made in Washington DC over the next two years will inevitably shape the technology industry. Challenges such as national broadband policy, the future of network neutrality legislation, protection of intellectual property rights and of individual privacy on the Internet could all become major political issues over the next two years. Moreover, as Mehlman made clear to me, the strength of the American economy is so dependent on innovation in technology that a healthy tech sector is essential for the long-term prosperity of this country.
My interview with the Republican Mehlman is the first in a two part series on the implications of last week’s election on technology policy. Tomorrow, we will run a parallel conversation with the Democrat David Sutphen, Mehlman’s co-chair at the Internet Innovation Alliance and a prominent technology and civil rights advocate.
The impact of last week’s election on technology policy in general
The future of network neutrality legislation
How America can climb up the global broadband league table
Will privacy be the next big political issue in Washington DC?
How Obama can win back Silicon Valley
The threat of piracy to the U.S. economy