Business

What will four more years of Obama mean for the tech industry?

What will happen to the tech industry in the next four years of Barack Obama’s presidency?

CNN and the other networks are projecting that Obama has won a second term as President of the United States. Obama himself tweeted “four more years,” and that tweet has already been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. If it isn’t true yet, well, Twitter will make it true.

It is fitting that Obama’s first confirmation of his victory comes via Twitter, since technology has played a big role in his campaign. But what will his victory mean for the policies that directly affect the tech industry? For sure, we will have a president and a federal government that is very aware of the importance of communicating through social media.

On the White House tech policy page, Obama said, “We have to do everything we can to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, wherever we find it. We should be helping American companies compete and sell their products all over the world. We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into new jobs and new businesses. And we should knock down any barriers that stand in the way. Because if we’re going to create jobs now and in the future, we’re going to have to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth.”

It remains to be seen if fiscal restraints will stop the president from spending much on tech initiatives. But Obama’s priorities on tech have focused on high-speed broadband Internet access, fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks, new health care information technology, and a modernized electrical grid.

In his first term, Obama says, he has focused on issues such as cyber security, a modern patent system, robotics, advanced manufacturing, learning technologies, privacy, an open and accountable government, and open data initiatives.

Democrats and Republicans can agree on the wisdom of funding for basic technology research. But their spending priorities differ, and there are plenty of battles ahead over issues such as piracy and user rights, reducing global warming, energy policy, net neutrality, antitrust enforcement, and immigration. All of these issues are important to the future of Silicon Valley and the tech industry.

What are your own thoughts on what will happen to the tech industry in a second Obama presidency? Please offer your comments below.


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