What will President Barack Obama do for technology?

Senator Barack Obama has been voted the first African-American president of the US in an election featuring historic turnout. But what will his win mean for the tech sector?


Obama seems to have reached the necessary 270 electoral votes to become president in an election featuring what could be historic turnout, although the results are not yet official.

Obama is also a big fan of technology. He's been photographed sending messages on a PDA, and his campaign used text messaging to announce his choice of a vice presidential running mate. His campaign solicited for donations through email, and it set fund-raising records for a US presidential campaign, raising more than $639 million (£402 million) as of mid-October. A large percentage of donations came over the Internet.

The campaign set up Obama pages at Facebook and MySpace and set up a Twitter feed. Obama even purchased advertisements in online video games, including Madden NFL 09 and Burnout Paradise.

The Obama campaign also created a bespoke iPhone application and distributed it through the iTunes App Store. The application enabled Obama supporters to call friends, see nationwide statistics and receive updates and facts from the Obama team.

Obama hasn't talked a lot about tech issues during the 2008 presidential campaign, but he did put out a lengthy tech policy paper a year ago. During a debate with rival candidate John McCain in September, Obama called for the US government to focus on rolling out broadband to the parts of the country that don't yet have it.

Obama was talking about priorities that shouldn't be cut even though the US economy is lagging. "I also think that we're going to have to rebuild our infrastructure, which is falling behind, our roads, our bridges, but also broadband lines that reach into rural communities," Obama said.

Obama's broadband goal is to help people connect with each other and to resources, Reed Hundt, a former chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and an Obama tech adviser, said last week. Obama promises a new kind of governing, where ideas can come from the "bottom up," not just the top down, Hundt said.

"The real commitment is to have our entire democracy include absolutely everyone," he said. "When we say universal broadband, what we mean is universal community."

NEXT: President Obama's tech policy

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