One of the most interesting elements of the tech plan Barack Obama released yesterday is the team he had working on it, which included some of the leading tech gurus in the country, like Stanford professor Larry Lessig and New York Law School professor Beth Noveck. The two were part of a conference call with bloggers today on the Obama plan. Their thoughts:
This is a critically important idea for this campaign to push, because however idealistic one might be about the government making websites and analysis of it's own transparency or function, we need to recognize that the government is never going to have the capability of doing with this data as much as the rest of the net and the rest of the interested public. So the model of making the data available freely and feeding it into a whole host of competing entities interested in trying to figure out how to make it work better is an important step for the senator to take in really making it possible for his objectives around corruption and really making government work to be achieved.
[It's] the only plan that articulates -- as I think a presidential candidate should do -- how we should think about the future of democracy and the future of government, particularly in the digital age and in response to new technology. I'm very excited about this because he's put this question of how should government work on the agenda, and in the public debate, and put forward a plan about how we can get away from a lot of what we're seeing today, which is closed door practices, lack of public access to the data that belongs to us, decisions that are based on ideology, junk science and bad information. And in [how it addresses] the lack of opportunities for us to participate in and really give information back to and get involved in the way that government makes those decisions […] We can't rely on government itself to have all the expertise, all the answers, and all the solutions. And that means providing the opportunity not only for us to make use of the data, but actually to get involved in how we make decisions.
Sure, they're more inclined to like the plan since they had a part in forming it. But as in other areas, the tech plan demonstrates the candidate's ability to put some of the best minds at work today behind his policy proposals.
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