What can Silicon Valley expect from a Trump administration? According to tech policy expert Larry Downes, predicting this particular future is akin the world’s “worst game” of poker.
“Everything is wild”, Downes says, because Trump has said next to nothing about technology. Anything could therefore happen, he suggests. It’s impossible to predict what, exactly, will happen.
What’s not impossible, at least according to Downes, is to be realistic about what a President Trump actually can accomplish. Trump won’t shut down the free press, he promises. Nor is he about to destroy the Internet’s democratic infrastructure by legalizing a tiered system of fast lanes for that will enrich the ISPs and benefit powerful content providers.
Yes, Downes admits, the whole Net Neutrality issue is back is “so back” – but only in terms of determining whether or not we want the Internet to become a public utility.
So much of the fear mongering in Silicon Valley about a Trump administration is a “lot of hysteria”. Indeed, Downes – who is certainly no Trumpista – is quite critical of much of Silicon Valley’s outright hostility to the President-elect, suggesting that it might come back to haunt the Valley.
As always, many thanks to CALinnovates support for the production of this interview.