Why Donald Trump and Silicon Valley Don't See Eye to Eye

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Why Donald Trump and Silicon Valley Don't See Eye to Eye

President-elect Donald Trump has criticized Silicon Valley and the high-tech industry for a variety of issues. Here why the industry may have a bumpy relationship with the new president in the years ahead.

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Trump Calls for a Boycott of Apple Products

In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, Apple declined a request and court order to provide the technical assistance needed to access an iPhone used by a terrorism suspect. Apple said its stance was in protection of privacy. But Donald Trump said it was infringing upon law enforcement’s duty. He then suggested Americans boycott Apple products in response to the company’s stance.

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Trump Tech Companies to Make Their Products at Home

Trump on several occasions said major tech companies, including Apple, should manufacture their products in the U.S. In one speech in 2016, Trump specifically called out Apple, saying that he would work to make the company manufacture its Macs in the U.S. Apple offered a detailed plan to do that.

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Bring Back the Cash

Trump has spoken often about repatriating cash held overseas by major companies. Apple, for instance, has more than $200 billion in overseas accounts. In order to get that cash back to the U.S., Trump says he’d reduce the repatriation tax to 10 percent from its current 35 percent. Whether technology companies like Apple would actually bring their cash back, however, is unknown.

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Trump Has Denounced AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Trump also stated during the campaign he thought the proposed blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner wouldn’t stand on his watch. He suggested in October that the deal could violate competition rules and “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” He added the deal represented the kind of “power structure” he is battling. But the fate of the merger will be determined by the U.S. Department of Justice and the federal courts rather than the will of the president.

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Trump Questions Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality, or the idea that the Internet should be an open highway that doesn’t give any service or content provider special treatment, also drew Trump’s ire. He said in 2015 that the idea of Net Neutrality represented a “top-down power grab” by President Barack Obama. He cautioned that the concept would allow the government to “target the conservative media.” Whether he would actually do anything to actually block Net Neutrality, however, is unknown.

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Let’s Talk About Privacy

Trump has suggested that he has a problem with some Internet privacy. He believes that end-to-end encrypted services like Telegram, as well as forums that don’t reveal a person’s name could make it harder for law-enforcement agencies to do their jobs. While he hasn’t gone so far as to call for restrictions on data encryption on the internet or a weakening of online privacy rules, he seems to have questions about it. And how that might come through in future decision-making is unknown.

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He has Trouble With Unrestricted Internet Access

Similarly, Trump has expressed some qualms about freedom of access to the Internet. He has suggested the idea of “closing that Internet up” to stop Islamic Radicals from being able to use the Web to recruit sympathizers. His comments caught the attention of rights activists who say he might be trying to limit free speech. However, Trump hasn’t floated specific plans to actually curb internet freedom.

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Trump Got Scant Support in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton in terms of donations and votes. Through the late-summer and early fall, Trump generated comparatively small donations from Silicon Valley donors. He made few visits to Silicon Valley while Clinton visited repeatedly for fund raising. One prominent exception is billionaire venture capitalist Peter Theil of San Francisco who donated $1.25 million to Trump's campaign.

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He Wants the U.S. to Manage the Internet, Not ICAAN

The decision to hand over domain name coordination to ICANN wasn’t well-received by Trump, either. He said earlier this year that the U.S. should control the Internet and handing it over to ICANN could cause the Internet’s freedom to “be lost for good.” He worries that putting the Internet in ICANN’s control will mean it can never be “great again.”

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Trump Thinks Amazon Is Too Powerful

Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have raised Trump's Ire. Trump has criticized Amazon’s tax practices and at least suggested that the e-retail giant operates a “monopoly.” Trump has also said that Bezos ownership of The Washington Post is a big red flag and gives him too much control over public opinion. Bezos fired back that Trump is “eroding our democracy.”

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CIOs Expect Steady Growth in Health Care IT Spending, Cyber-Threats

Chief information officers are striving for a stronger role in today's corporate structure, according to data from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey. The survey, which includes responses from more than 3,300 CIOs across 82 countries, indicates that CIOs are increasingly focusing their efforts on "creating" IT opportunities rather than "operating" the technology in their businesses. In addition, big data continues to be a big concern, and cyber-security will remain an intractable problem for the foreseeable future, according to the respondents. According to the study, health care IT spending will grow faster than IT spending overall. In addition, health care CIOs view the cloud positively but acknowledge its potential risks. The study also illustrates the degree to which CIOs are changing careers and, despite somewhat constrained budgets, are able to grow their compensation as CEOs increasingly...
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