America waits in anticipation for Obama's possible tech czar

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Washington, Nov.21 : The American tech industry is waiting to see whether the new president Barack Obama will name, as promised, a "chief technology officer" for the United States.

Before the election, Obama's campaign Web site laid out an ambitious plan for tech policy, proclaiming that the CTO would "ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century."

According to technology-policy advocate Andrew Rasiej, such a change would be historic.

"This is not a token idea. Based on the inclusion of the role of the CTO in the tech policy itself, it seems that the Obama administration will take such a role very seriously," Rasiej told FOX News.

David Kralik, director of Internet strategy for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's grassroots group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, said: "It would be very difficult to find people on the other side of the aisle to oppose this."

"I don't see it as a Democratic and Republican issue," said Deven Desai, associate professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, who has blogged about the CTO proposal.

Change.gov, Obama's official Web site as president-elect, states further that the CTO's job will be "to ensure the safety of our networks and lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices."

The country's Silicon Valley is already acting as if the CTO will be in charge of all of that, with such big names as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy and Google CEO Eric Schmidt being tossed around as the man who would lead America to tech salvation - though Schmidt, for one, has said he's not interested.

Also on the speculation list are Google Vice President Vint Cerf, often called "the father of the Internet," former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, now a tech adviser to the global management-consulting firm McKinsey and Company, and Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates, who gave up his day job this year to focus on philanthropy.

An Obama spokesman who didn't want to be named would say only that no decisions regarding the CTO position had been made since the job description was posted in September.

ANI

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