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Sunday
Jan232005

Bush Didn't Invent the Internet, but Is He Good for Tech?

In James Fallows' Techno Files Op-ed, he used a term that brought back a few memories, but with a twist.  The term was "antiterrorism-industrial complex", a play on the Eisenhower farewell which warned of the "military-industrial complex."

Before this morning, I had never heard this phrase, yet it has a resonance to it.  With the change in our era to a world of asymetrical warfare and terror, which by definition has to flaunt the rules in order to be terror inducing, we have found the perfect impetus for this generation's advancement of communication and information technology.  No longer a space race, an arms race, nor the "gaps" to which proponents referred when trying to scare the bejeezus out of Congress or the voting populace.  Nope, this is a race, or perhaps more accurately described, a war, that will be won by the side that understands best how to make use of the infrastructure in place and that which emerges over the next years.   

Yet the Bush administration could end up being known for some technology advances that occurred on its watch. I am speaking not only of purely private developments - the renaissance of Internet-based businesses in this age of Google - or of the heavy public spending for military and surveillance systems, which is creating a vast new antiterrorism-industrial complex.

Instead, as in many chapters of American technological history, some of the most significant innovations have been made where public and private efforts touch. In its first term, the Bush team made a few important pro-technology choices. Over the next year it will signal whether it intends to stand by them.

Link: The New York Times: Bush Didn't Invent the Internet, but Is He Good for Tech?.

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