Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain differ on their opinions for potential government intervention in the digital age.
According to a recent article from Bloomberg News:
Obama “wants the government to take an active role in wielding the Web as a weapon against poverty and rural isolation, an approach that could benefit Google.
McCain sees the Internet mainly as a business and trusts market forces to foster innovation for society’s benefit. It’s the same tack he has taken in Congress, advocating a hands-off approach to telephone-industry mergers that created the new AT&T.”
1. Obama is pro net neutrality, which is bad for AT&T – Obama doesn’t think companies like AT&T, which own internet connections, should be allowed to use that as leverage to charge sites and other providers additional fees. He believes there should be a ‘neutral’ playing field.
2. Obama’s access subsidies, meanwhile, would be good for Google – Google will benefit from the increased number of Internet users Obama wants to introduce using government subsidies to provide rural and low-income homes with high-speed internet access.
3. McCain, on the other hand is extremely close to the telecom lobby – McCain’s campaign manager and some of his top advisors come from a background in the telephone communications industry with ties to BellSouth, SBC Communications, Verizon, AT&T, in addition to a former FCC chairman who led efforts to deregulate local telephone companies.
Although this is just one aspect of a much larger campaign, it seems to gives some insight into where the allegiances on upcoming issues may lie.
On one hand, Obama seems to be very progressive with his ideas for the Internet, whereas McCain is more of a believer in the free market economy. Wanting less government interference, so that companies may innovate easier on their own. These policies may also tie into both candidates personal uses of technology. Obama being an avid BlackBerry user, while McCain has described himself as ‘computer illiterate’.
Is this assuming more than it should? Do you think these companies are bigger backers of each candidate based on this knowledge? Let us know in the comments.
Bloomberg: Obama is from Google, McCain is with AT&T on digital-age rules, July 14, 2008
Clusterstock: Obama Presidency good for google, McCain good for AT&T, July 15, 2008