The next presidential election is almost a year away, and already Barack Obama is outlining his plan to improve technology (if elected). In preparation for his visit to Google headquarters today, Obama released a nine-page statement including plans to provide broadband access to areas lacking it, open up the 700MHz wireless spectrum so smaller carriers can compete, and create a federally-backed, $50 billion venture capital fund for the development of more environmentally-friendly technology. However, his first order of business will be appointing a Chief Technology Officer, a new post in the government who makes sure all of these ideas are put into action.
The CTO would have a much different agenda than the head of technology under the current administration, the "cyber-security czar". While that post is concerned with preventing cyber attacks, the CTO would concentrate on critical issues facing the technology world as well as maintain an open line of communication between the government and the American citizens by using—what else?—the internet.
Obama wants a transparent government, where meetings between Cabinet officials and government executives are streamed live, and the public can comment on legislation on the White House website for five days before it is signed into law. Giving the public wide access to the policy makers is a radical step from the closed governments of the past. Though it kinda takes the term "commentard" to a new level. No word yet on Obama's banhammer, but we guess it will be as swift and merciless as ours, democracy be hanged.
Other proposals in Obama's technology manifesto include reforming the patent system to provide better security to important innovations and decreased protection for trolls, and regulations on network neutrality. Overall, Obama's plans seem very advanced, open-source and engaging to the community, things that any technology buff can appreciate. OK, Hillary: your turn to network with the nerds. [Venture Beat]