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Hillary Clinton announces tech platform

TechCrunch TechCrunch 28/06/2016 Kate Conger

Connectivity, education, and entrepreneurship — these are the principles of Hillary Clinton’s technology platform, unveiled today at a Denver startup incubator.

The decision to announce her technology imperatives outside of Silicon Valley may seem strange, but it represents one of the platform objectives: to democratize tech industry growth across the country, rather than just leaving the industry isolated on its most well-known turf.

“I do plead guilty to being a policy wonk and I know that can be boring,” Clinton said as she announced her platform. “But it really matters what we do and how we do it if we’re going to create the economy of the future.”

Clinton’s tech platform is focused on five areas — expanding the tech economy through education and R&D investment, upgrading infrastructure and connectivity across America, improving the nation’s relationships with other governments on technology-related issues, reforming laws on copyright and net neutrality while studying encryption, and opening up government data to the public.

Saying you want to make America great again is saying you want to go back to the way it used to be.
— Hillary Clinton

As expected, Clinton’s plan includes a call for a “Manhattan-like project” on cybersecurity. Clinton says she would create a national commission focused on balancing the interests of the tech and privacy communities with those of law enforcement. The presumptive Democratic nominee discussed creating such a commission during a debate in December.

“I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they’re not adversaries, they’ve got to be partners,” Clinton stated during the debate.

Clinton’s platform also says she would continue to back net neutrality rules recently instated by the FCC and supported by President Barack Obama.

Although Clinton didn’t mention her Republican opponent Donald Trump by name, she couldn’t resist a quick dig at his lack of meaningful technology policy. “I want America to get back in the future business. Saying you want to make America great again is saying you want to go back to the way it used to be,” Clinton said. “That is not who we are as Americans. We don’t go back; we have to go forward. We have to go forward with a real sense of intelligence and purpose.”

Clinton focused her remarks primarily on the education and connectivity aspects of her technology platform, calling for high-speed internet in all American homes and businesses. Connectivity must be achieved by the early 2020s, Clinton said. “Every year we waste, we leave more and more people behind,” she added.

The former Secretary of State called for STEM education in all high schools and discussed student debt forgiveness for young entrepreneurs.

Clinton also fielded a question about the Benghazi committee report released earlier today, noting that the investigation did not turn up new information. “I think it’s pretty clear it’s time to move on,” she said.

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