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Hillary Clinton's tech agenda draws cheers from IT industry

Kenneth Corbin | July 4, 2016
Presumptive Democratic nominee calls for investments in STEM education, cybersecurity and job training, pledging to make an open Internet a cornerstone of her administration's diplomacy.

But there was plenty in her plan to buoy members of the tech sector, including a plan to make computer science education universally available, the expansion of tech-focused job training programs and investments in research and development.

Clinton's campaign is also touting plans to incorporate retention policies for skilled foreign workers into a broader immigration package, long a priority for tech firms that have complained about students who receive STEM degrees from U.S. colleges only to return to their home country to work.

"As part of a comprehensive immigration solution, Hillary would 'staple' a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions -- enabling international students who complete degrees in these fields to move to green card status," her campaign says.

In cybersecurity, she mentions the importance of coordination between the public and private sectors, and calls for more funding for the development of security technologies and a federal CISO who can steer security operations as the government continues its IT modernization efforts.

Clinton also addressed the friction that often accompanies the uneasy balance between national security and privacy and other civil liberties, calling for a "national commission on digital security, so that the technology and public safety communities can work together on solutions that address law enforcement needs while preserving individual privacy and security."

Many of the policies laid out in her technology agenda read like Clinton would pick up where the Obama administration leaves off, such as the commitment to deliver high-speed broadband access to 100 percent of the nation's households by 2020, expand the use of spectrum for wireless networks, and to campaign for an open, unfettered Internet overseas, an issue Clinton highlighted when she was heading the State Department.

As secretary, Clinton "embraced the power of technology as an asset of American leadership and an instrument of American ideals in the world," her campaign says.

"She will continue this work as president -- fighting for Internet Freedom and insisting on the responsibility of all nations to respect free speech and human rights online, as well as the open flow of data across borders and access to digital markets," it adds. "She will oppose efforts to block or degrade internet access or to shut down social media, and she will stand with likeminded countries against efforts by countries like China or Russia to create a balkanized Internet run by governments."


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