Technology concerns infuse Democratic platform

Less than a week after the release of the GOP platform, the Democratic party has unveiled its fix to reclaim economic security and initiatives to create a smarter, leaner government with the help of transparency and technology.

Released Sept. 4, the Moving America Forward platform focuses in part on open government, cybersecurity and overhauling outdated technology. The document takes a retrospective look to highlight what the current administration believes it has accomplished since 2009 – perhaps in response to claims from some Republicans that the nation is not better off today than four years ago when President Barack Obama took office. (Read our coverage of the Republican party's platform here and here.)

The Democratic platform spells out the intent and steps to boost the nation’s dire fiscal state “by creating an economy built to last and built from the middle out,” according to the plan. In additional to its heavy focus on rebuilding the middle class and spurring job creation, the platform’s focus areas include:

Open government: Obama previously sought from Congress the power to consolidate and reorganize the federal government to create a more efficient and fiscally responsible government. Agencies have also been directed to review existing federal regulations to eliminate unnecessary rules. In response, more than two dozen agencies have released plans to streamline existing requirements. Just a small part of this move will help save billions of dollars in the near term “without sacrificing consumer protections, the environment, workplace safety, or health,” according to the platform.

Other open gov accomplishments:

- Publicized the list of White House visitors and developed an online centralized ethics and lobbying database available to the public.
- Spearheaded initiative to enact the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act to ban congressional insider trading. The legislation also directs executive branch employees to disclose certain financial information on a publicly available website.
- Launched the Open Government Initiative to increase transparency, participation and collaboration governmentwide. Specific areas of focus include publishing online government information and data, promote a culture of transparency, and improve the quality of federal information.

Cybersecurity:  Dubbed the latest national security threat – sometimes the most pressing one -- cybersecurity has been on the Obama administration’s agenda since its early days. The administration launched the U.S. Cyber Command in June 2009, and is reviewing the federal government’s ongoing work to protect U.S. information and infrastructure. 

The platform expresses a continued effort to deter and defend against cyber attacks by investing in cutting-edge research and development. Other tenets of the endeavor include promoting cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy, and strengthening ties between industry and global partnerships.

“President Obama has supported comprehensive cybersecurity legislation that would help business and government protect against risks of cyber attacks while also safeguarding the privacy rights of our citizens,” the platform document reads. “And going forward, the president will continue to take executive action to strengthen and update our cyber defenses.”

Technology: The administration will take measures to “retool” the armed forces and defense strategy “to ensure we both maintain the world’s most capable military and adapt to the challenges of the 21st century,” according to the platform. The idea is also to eliminate obsolete Cold War-era systems and invest in modern technologies to keep up with the capabilities needed to meet different military missions.

To ensure U.S. leadership in the Internet economy, the administration will also work to support a modern digital infrastructure – "robust wired and wireless broadband capability, a smarter electrical grid, and upgraded IT infrastructure in key sectors such as health care and education," according to the platform.

“We are finding innovative ways to free up wireless spectrum and are building a state-of-the-art nationwide, interoperable, public safety network," according to the framework. "President Obama is strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice, and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy."

Additionally, intellectual property protection will see more enforcement both in the U.S. and outside. “As technology advances, we will continue to work with all stakeholders to protect the security of the nation and its knowledge assets, U.S. intellectual property, the functioning of fair and competitive markets, and the privacy, free expression, and due process rights of Americans,” reads the platform.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

Cyber. Covered.

Government Cyber Insider tracks the technologies, policies, threats and emerging solutions that shape the cybersecurity landscape.


Reader comments

Mon, Sep 10, 2012

Flonkbob has is backward. Demos have massive control of media, most of the fed courts, had both house and senate and most peole in the administartive branch are liberals and have been in control for most of the last 60 years. Whose stymied the economy with a additional trillion dollars per year for the last four years. Quit smoking so much dope!

Wed, Sep 5, 2012

Flonkbob does not seem to get reality. The GOP cannot stymie attempts at fairness and transparency when the Dems were in control of all three houses. In reality, it has always been the Dems having wet dreams of being the 'Boss Hogg' of national government and ignorance in the electrate is primarily in the Dems favor because the Dems control the vast majority of the news reporting and the entertainment industry. His using the term 'Boss Hogg' is proof of that. Also, despite the slogans, this administration has been the worst of all at transparency, the left's idea of "fairness" is anything but fair. The first comment is on track with reality. The comment about building "from the middle out" is total hogwash because the Dem's idea of building for the past 40 plus years has been to build everything based around the Government. The U.S. will go farther with technology if the Government stays out of the way - which is exactly the opposite approach liberals have always pushed. So, as usual, what the Dems platform claims they will achieve is mostly opposite what it will actually do if implemented.

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 Flonkbob

Hard to fulfill promises when the GOP stymies every attempt at fairness and transparency. They are all still having wet dreams of being the 'Boss Hogg' of national government. And, thanks to an ignorant electorate, they are closer than ever.

Wed, Sep 5, 2012

If this is true, why haven't they pushed it through already? Since they haven't, it sounds like another empty promise that will NOT be fulfilled.

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