Obama Promises Federal Technology Czar

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2007-11-15 Print this article Print

The candidate says he'll put government data online in universally accessible formats.

Sen. Barack Obama said on Nov. 14 if he is elected to the presidency next year he would appoint the countrys first chief technology officer to guarantee that the United States is "always at the forefront of technology."

Using the Mountain View, Calif., headquarters of Google as a campaign backdrop, the Democratic presidential hopeful promised his federal chief technology officer would promote a government Web site and search engine to allow users to track grants, contracts, earmarks and lobbyist contacts with government officials.
"Its no coincidence that one of the most secretive administrations in history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to sunlight," he told a crowd of more than a thousand Google employees. "As president, Ill change that. Ill put government data online in universally accessible formats."
In a separate policy statement released Nov. 14, Obama said the CTO would have the authority to ensure government agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services to solicit and receive information from citizens. The CTO would also oversee a national, interoperable wireless network for first responders. "Together, we could open up government and invite citizens in, while connecting all of America to 21st century broadband," he told the Google crowd. "We could use technology to help achieve universal health care, to reach for a clean energy future and to ensure that young Americans can compete