- If you'd like to make a short (150 words or less) statement as part of signing on, please use this thread. (You can also put your name down on the wiki, and we'll circulate some paper signature sheets at the conference on Friday.)
- Please use the discussion and dissent thread for additional discussion -- and if you choose not to sign on, please let us know why!
May 23, 2008
Dear presidential candidates:
We call on your help to seize the momentous opportunity that the 2008 elections provide to spark a nationwide discussion on how information technologies (IT) and the knowledge economy impact traditional policy areas such as education, health care, social welfare, and civil liberties.
Our "Dear Potus 08" project is a series of web-based, interactive and open letters to the next President. This work, along with the accompanying broad dialog online and off, will cover topics that touch everybody in our nation, and in the process both engage and educate the public as well as industry and policymakers.
The topics we'll be discussing include
- Creating a safer Internet for children and adults -- addressing such issues as cyberbullying, phishing, hacking, and cyberterrorism -- while also preserving freedom of speech and privacy
- Reducing identity theft by leading consumer protection initiatives, including education, best practices, and -- where appropriate -- regulation
- The role of copyright, patents, trademarks and also alternatives to intellectual property in fostering innovation and creativity in a peer-to-peer-based democratic culture
- Using new technologies effectively to reduce health care costs and improve medical care and service without compromising patient privacy and creating security risks
- Enabling access to technology and knowledge for all Americans, investing in bridging the digital divide and considering accessibility, interoperability, technology education in and outside schools, and training in technological design and regulation
- Protecting privacy via comprehensive U.S. privacy legislation based on fair information principles, applying to governmental and private surveillance and data collection, and how this should be harmonized internationally
The participatory open letter format, along with accompanying discussions in online and offline forums, allows citizens to engage in the political process in a more deliberative way. We hope to pave the way and refine the methods for ongoing interactive communications between the general public and our government in the new administration. This effort will also help people develop a shared national vocabulary while gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities and challenges of the role of technology in the issues and concerns of Americans.
If you think this is a valuable goal and interesting approach, you can assist us by highlighting the importance of these issues, and your positions, as you're campaigning. Just as importantly, please challenge the media -- "old" and "new" -- to cover the issues with the depth they deserve and the attention currently paid to the sound-bite and horse race aspects of the campaigns.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We look forward to hearing what you and the technology policy experts in your campaign think of it.
see the wiki page for the current signature list