Federal CTO Chopra Confident of Tech Future

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Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra; Photo: 2011calendar.org

Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said the administration will continue to push for important technology policies in the year ahead, even as a potentially intractable Congress takes the reins.

“In an ironic way, perhaps the technology and innovation agenda might actually get a more prominent role in the coming years,” he said last week at a Politico-sponsored government and technology forum. “I’m confident that at a minimum they will get the airing they deserve.”

A top tech industry leader, Pablo Chavez, policy counsel at Google, told Politico he agreed with Chopra’s optimistic view.

“There’s movement at least in the tech space of waving away partisanship, and trying to find bipartisan solutions,” he said.

Chopra said there are long-term goals, such as increasing broadband throughout the country and increasing government transparency and smaller goals that can be implemented more quickly.

Other issues include: spectrum reform, which will free up more space to accommodate more wireless users; online privacy; and patent reform, which will help protect software and other innovation, according to a Reuters report.

However, there is not agreement on all issues. Notably missing from the list of issues officials believe common ground can be found on is net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic be treated equally.  Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce committee, said he didn’t believe Congress could compromise on net neutrality.

“Parties are not going to agree on net neutrality,” Ensign said, according to Reuters, before adding he didn’t see a need for any new regulations on that front.

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