Democratic Win and Tech: The Impact
And so, after twelve years of Congressional Republican rule, the
The key technological issue that separated the Republicans and Democrats in recent years was "Net Neutrality". The term refers to networks that disfavor certain online targets, from Google to online video gaming, to VoIP.
There are two sides to this issue. In the past, the Republicans have opposed any legislation that sought to change Net Neutrality.
Opponents of NN regulations:
Telecommunications providers who have been accused of masterminding the web. How? Allegedly, by giving certain locations slower or almost non-existent speeds/connections. Why? These opponents of Net Neutrality believe that any legislation on the topic could threaten public safety, including homeland security. In addition, these same voices believe restrictions on NN will greatly reduce the quality of general internet use.
Supporters of NN regulations:
Generally, large internet companies such as Google, eBay, and agencies like the Consumers Union. These businesses and groups believe that regulations to Net Neutrality are necessary because the telecommunications companies, at this time, have complete control over which sites clip along, which drag, and which simply fail to load. That gives them immense powers over the internet, and can mean unfair advantages for a telecommunications company's own search engine, phone service, or video features.
The key to the Republicans' opposition to Net Neutrality regulations is pretty obvious. You see "security", be it homeland or a
So, how does the Democratic shift affect Net Neutrality?
Well, for one, it will mean that regulations are finally put into place to take the power of Grayskull (sorry, non-He-Man fans) out of the hands of telecommunications companies. Liberal groups who are most excited about the shift in power believe regulations will mean a truly free internet. California Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for one, believes legislation on Net Neutrality will prevent a slowly tightening grip from internet providers.
Also key to tech freedoms is the Republican stance on electronic surveillance. At the heart of this issue is the 2001 Patriot Act, which gave the current administration rights to various "spying" campaigns in order to, in the Republicans' minds, increase the buffer zone between honest Americans and the "bad guys" (whomever they may be). Democrats have for five years referred to the Patriotic Act and electronic surveillance as an "illegal spying program".
Whether the Republicans can be considered Orwellian fear mongers is another issue entirely. After all, it might not be an issue anymore.