How the Presidential Candidates Stand on Technology

Health care. Iraq. The economy. All of the presidential candidates have ready-made talking points and stump speeches that detail how they, as president, would handle these important issues.

Artwork: Chip Taylor
So where does technology fit in?

The Oval Office's approach to tech matters may not be as critical as solving the health care crisis, but such issues are still important. We dug around to discover where candidates stand on major tech questions, searching through their policy statements, Web sites, interviews, and other available information. Some have extensive plans; others, perhaps tellingly, hardly mention tech at all.

The main issues most of the candidates address are:

Broadband access: As the Internet becomes ever more integral to our daily lives, we're slipping behind other developed nations in the speed and ubiquity of broadband access --down to fourteenth place, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Net neutrality: Several of the large companies that control the Internet are considering giving priority to some data over other types, in some cases charging extra for preferential treatment.

Privacy and security: Some threats to privacy are indisputable--nobody supports identity thieves or companies that handle private data sloppily. But the situation isn't as clear-cut when the government is monitoring communications in an attempt to find terrorists.

Innovation: As other nations start to catch up to in technological prowess, the United States has to consider whether the government should play a role in sparking research and development.

We know what the candidates say about these issues, but we'd like to hear what you think as well. Take a moment to fill out our survey, and we'll report on the results soon.

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