Who Are the Tech-Friendly Candidates?

Last week, GamePolitics reported on Yahoo! Games’ recap of where the major presidential candidates stand on video game issues.

Cnet’s Declan McCullagh has now penned an insightful article which outlines how the top candidates view some critical technology issues. While not game-specific, some of these issues will certainly affect gamers in a significant way. Writes McCullagh:

Who would be the most tech-friendly president?

The short answer: it depends. Do you like the idea of Net neutrality so much that you’d hand the Federal Communications Commission the authority to levy open-ended Internet regulations? Do you support pro-fair use changes to copyright law, which many programmers and computer scientists do–but which practically all software and video game companies oppose?

McCullagh sought the candidates’ positions on seven key tech issues: Net neutrality legislation; Telecom spying immunity; DMCA fair use reform; Supports Real ID Act; ISP data retention required; Permanent Net-tax ban; and Increased H1-B visas.

Of these, Net neutrality and DMCA fair use reform are probably of the most immediate interest to gamers, so we’ll look at those.

On Net neutrality, the question posed to the candidates was:

Congress has considered Net neutrality legislation, but it never became law. Do you support the legislation that was re-introduced in 2007 (S 215), which gives the FCC the power to punish "discriminatory" conduct by broadband providers?

Those strongly in favor of Net neutrality: Clinton, Obama
Those opposed: McCain, Paul
"Maybe": Huckabee
Ducked question: Romney

On DMCA fair use reform, the question posed to the candidates was:

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s section restricting the "circumvention" of copy protection measures is supported by many copyright holders but has been criticized by some technologists as hindering innovation. Would you support changing the DMCA to permit Americans to make a single backup copy of a DVD, Blu-ray Disc DVD, HD DVD, or video game disc they have legally purchased?

Those probably in favor: Obama, Paul
Ducked question: Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Clinton

Read McCullagh’s full article here

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  1. 0
    Nordic says:


    …okay, i’m Canadian. But I think that America should be allowed to make that personal copy. If I could vote I would go Obama right now…

  2. 0
    Matt ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ron Paul would be for Net Neutrality as it would allow freedom for internet users. This article is pretty much wrong considering this fact. Anything that constitutes a violation of individual freedom Paul is against and not having Net Neutrality is one of those violations.

  3. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Broken Scope
    I disagree once in office he has no choice but to walk the middle, and “they” would be a better choice than the brain eating zombie lords from the reapers and dims…..

  4. 0

    Why do I personally hate Hillary? Four words….


    That says everything I loathe about her in a nutshell. It should speak volumes to every gamer here on whether or not to vote for her. And dammit, despite the numbers, I hope everyone realizes that this crazy windbag shouldn’t be president before it’s too late… not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a woman who doesn’t necessarily have the best agendas in mind.

  5. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    That’d be because Net Neutrality is about ISPs that own the physical network cables, and Microsoft isn’t an ISP that owns a bunch of physical network cables. It’s to Microsoft’s disadvantage if, say, Comcast was legally allowed to charge their customers ten dollars extra if they wanted to reach Microsoft’s website at anything resembling a decent speed, and charge Microsoft a thousand dollars extra for Comcast’s subscribers to be able to reach Microsoft’s website at all.

    In short, Net Neutrality favors everyone except big telecoms, and Microsoft, along with the other big companies listed aren’t big telecoms. So of course Microsoft would favor it, despite their general anti-competitive bent. They already pay a princely sum for the bandwidth needed to ensure that their customers can reach their web presence unhindered. They don’t want every telecom extracting a pound of flesh from them on top of that.

  6. 0
    Tricause says:

    I find it hard to believe Microsoft supports Net Neutrality (that website you left said it does). They want monthly payment for everything (such as playing online when you already have internet i.e. Xbox Live & PC Live) and are major copyrighters. They are trying to shut down other companies so there is no competition.

  7. 0
    DigDug says:

    Obama cant win. He’s got a free pass from the press so far, but that would change if he’s the nominee, and he’ll be savaged by the republicans. Theyre staying quiet for now in hopes that he’ll be the nominee and then they can unload on him.

    Also if you look at the polls of who votes for Obama in the primaries, its all blacks and upper class liberals. These are voters that any democrat already has; Hillary would get these voters in a genral election too. But Hillarys voters (hispanics, blue collar white democrats, older democrats) could vote for McCain.

    This is why people support Hillary. They dont think she’s that great, but they know, contrary to what you hear in the media, that she is much more likely to win a general eleciton. And with the supreme court on the line (up to 3 nominations for the next president), this is extremely important for civl liberties and for video games. Although Hillary demagogues video games, she is very likely to nominate judges with a liberal interpretation of the 1st Amendment.

    That is how Id run for Office too. Id criticise video games (to get votes) and then nominate judges that would protect free expression for them. Thats how politics work.

  8. 0
    Steve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I see a lot of Republicans talking about the nanny state. I just have a simple reminder that NCLBA put the feds in charge of our school, oddly enough without sufficient fed funding. They also made it legal to wiretap any phone call they see fit without a warrant. Currently, they are trying to make sure any Telco participating in illegal wiretapping has retroactive immunity. Not to mention a 6 year record of spending no Democrat could match.

    Just saying, maybe you shouldn’t go throwing terms like communism and nanny around if you’re just as guilty. Both parties want to run our lives, just different parts. Republicans want to run our sex lives and legislate morality in all sorts of ways, and dems want more control over our money and economy.

    I do get a good chuckle out of a person denouncing big government out of one side of their mouth, then praising Republicans out the other.

  9. 0
    Meleedragon27 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As a Republican, I’ll obviously be putting my vote towards McCain. However, if I was a Democrat, I can say right now that I’d rather see Obama in office; I’m strongly opposed towards Hillary’s “nanny-state” policy… sounds more like communism to me, it does.

  10. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I just looked it up and Barack also condemned Imus . . . crap. Oh well, stuff like that usually don’t get the president involved.

  11. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    She did WHAT?! She condemned Don Imus and helped the team ‘through the healing process’. That really is political BS at it’s upmost finest. Listen if you can be deeply hurt by a not-eve-remotely serious joke when the person who said it apologised repeatedly, one wonders how the hell you are tough enough to handle sports.

    Please tell me Barack didn’t do the same thing.

  12. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Am I the only one here who supported Edwards, or wishes the Dem ticket will be Obama/Edwards (since the two don’t have much bad blood in them)?

  13. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    For myself, I’m against her primarily due to her being a Nanny State-ist. Or as my mom puts it, communist. She heavily favors big government, with the state having it’s hand in nearly everything, often whether it needs it that far in or not. All payed for by my tax dollars. Following that I’m unfond of the political dynasties we’ve got going lately, and want some of the younger crowd to start getting into power. Following that I don’t like her personality, nor do I think she knows how to compromise and work with people to the extent that’s needed by a president.

    @Terrible Tom

    Umm, ever look at this website about Net Neutrality?


    It gives a great run done of why people would support it. Particularly as it means not the FCC regulating the internet, it means the FCC regulating people like Comcast and forbidding them from interfering with traffic on their network.

  14. 0
    JQuilty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Terrible Tom (and all other FCC Sucks posts): Uh…net neutrality doesn’t meant the FCC gets to censor the internet like they do TV and Radio. However, there would be regulations in place that prevent them from taking it away.

    Without network neutrality, your ISP would be allowed to slow down websites that don’t pay them for speed, or outright censor sites that say negative things about them. Or, they could block you from accessing email services such as GMail, Yahoo, or Hotmail to handcuff you to their service.

    The FCC would have the power to fine, not to censor. I know, they’re mostly a worthless government department made up of idiots, but companies who try stuff like the above should be fined.

  15. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Even though Obama wants to expand government, which almost always means they support a nanny state, more than Clinton? He wants to increase government spending more than she does even though we have a record debt.

    I feel sad that Ron Paul might not be around to say “I told you so.” But at least his son Rand will.

  16. 0
    NeW SpEcTrUM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m really getting sick of Hillary’s bullcrap. Out of the leading candidates, I almost wholeheartedly support Obama, and usually I lean Republican, but after Bush’s mess of a presidency, I’m finding Obama’s message quite interesting. Though there is obviously no chance of him winning, I’m glad to see someone like Ron Paul stepping up too.

  17. 0
    WarOtter ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    The reason I don’t like her are as follows:
    1. Political dynasties are bad for leadership positions.
    2. Her political opportunism- i.e. the Don Imus condemnation followed by visiting the rutgers team ‘to help the healing process’ political BULLSHIT at its ripest
    3. Her complicit role in WhiteWater
    4. Her support of a nanny state. Don’t tell me what is and what is not appropriate for MY children. I know you said don’t point that out, but it is one of my reasons.
    5. Her tendency to vote what will make her more popular versus what she actually believes. (i.e. voted for the war in Iraq)

    I could go on and on. On top of all this I get a seriously twisted vibe from her whenever I see her.

    Besides Obama is the first candidate I actually LIKE. I’m so cynical of the whole government that if I actually feel positive about a candidate they have my vote despite how ineffective our system of government is and how little my vote actually counts.

  18. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Why on earth would anyone support net neutrality? It gives the FCC power to begin regulating the internet. It is absolutely terrible for gamers.

  19. 0
    JustChris says:

    One of the issues that I am most opposed with Hillary is her healthcare plan to give free healthcare to everyone, by compromising most of our income significantly. Especially bad if the rumors that it will apply to illegal immigrants are confirmed. Also, people who choose to decline the plan will be penalized.

  20. 0
    Benji says:

    @grls-r-gamers-2: My take on Hillary: Hillary’s stance on games is emblematic of her stance on a lot of things: she wants the government to have a hand in just about everything because she thinks the state will do a better job than private citizens. I’m not really a fan of this; I think the government’s too big already.
    She also strikes me as absolutely and completely insincere. I’m not saying I like Obama either, but you have to at least admit when you listen to him talk that he’s a guy who really cares about all the problems in this country and that unity and hard work can help us get past them. Hillary… I don’t feel like she wants the presidency because she really wants to make things better, she just wants another promotion and more prestige. I may not agree with all Obama’s ideas, but at least he has conviction behind them, and I’ve never sensed any conviction or passion at all from Hillary.

  21. 0
    grls-r-gamers-2 says:

    I’m not saying I support her, but I gotta ask: Why the hell does everyone hate Hillary so much? A lot of people I know support her, so I’d like to know why. Whenever I ask, people fail to give me a decent answer. I’ve gotten crap like “Well, Bill cheated on her.” Oooookay. How does that make HER a bad person? Maybe I’m just asking the wrong (read: stupid) people.

    And I don’t give two shits about her stance on video games (as far as the presidency goes; there are more important issues) so don’t point that out.

  22. 0

    I would think that Ron Paul’s stance would be more like the libertarian stance of…. less governmental control on things. So, for Net Neutrality, he’d be opposed to what the question stated, but he’d want an open marketplace. The stance of government intervention for or against Net Neutrality would potentially be bad, either way. But rather, the government should pull its hooks out of all aspects of it, allowing for a more free market to determine how it all works out — if I understand the Libertarian philosophy (I could be mistaken).

  23. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No, just VERY gulible. I’ve been working on that and she can catch somethings now, but she still believes everything a poitician says, because they HAVE to be honest!

    If I can’t vote for Mario, then forget Hillary ’08,
    I’m voting Duke Nukem…

    Actually I’m leaning heavily towards Obama.

  24. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:


    Same here. I’m tired of the two-party wool pulled over our eyes, hiding the same authoritarian elite that has been controlling our country for decades.

  25. 0
    Benji says:

    @MonkeyPeaches: I was at a time worried that the Dems would go for a Obama/Hillary ticket, but I think at this point it’s highly unlikely. One gets the impression there’s too much bad blood between them for them to want to suddenly team up. That, and Hillary’s an elite member of the political establishment that Obama’s spent so much time railing against in his cries for ‘change.’

  26. 0
    Bill ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m probably voting for some poor bastard in either a 3rd party or an independent who has no chance of winning. It’ll be my first time to do so but I can’t stand any of the Major Parties choices.

  27. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Look, I am very much for Net Neutrality, but I don’t want the FCC to be involved. What I want is full deregulation of cable providers, leading to actual competition, giving me the choice to pick providers based on their individual net-nuetral stance. The government doesn’t need to be more involved, so voting against that particular law isnt necessarily a black mark. Just look at Hill’s track record on games, ’nuff said. Obama might talk a big game on Net Neutrality, but I’ve not heard of a plan he proposed that I like.

  28. 0
    WarOtter ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Did you choose your wife off of the short bus? j/k
    The commercials for those foot pads are hilarious. Next thing you know we’ll have spray-on hair… oh wait we already have that.

  29. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t forget who signed the DMCA into law…..

    Anyway, not really a surprise… Personally my big hang up with Net Neutrality too is that it would mean government intervention which typically makes things worse than better. There needs to be a balance to make it truly neutral. I oppose “immunity” for any company that’ll be used to spy on citizens and data retention without a warrant. At least Obama and Paul answered all the questions.

    Over all the choices this year are rather “meh”.

  30. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why do we want another Clinton in the White House? We all saw what happened when another Bush entered the White House.
    This country has been run by two families the past two decades. Are we turning into some kind of monarchy now?

    I want to see Obama and McCain fight it out in November

  31. 0
    wengler says:

    At 46, Obama is the youngest candidate running and also has a younger demo of supporters than Hillary. A lot of these issues aren’t even understood by the older non-tech savvy generation. Obama will assuredly be the best in supporting an internet run by the content providers and not the content transporters(telecoms), and also presenting a concept of fair use not written by RIAA or MPAA lobbyists.

    For those considering Ron Paul, please realize that he has no opinion as to whether corporate power should be allowed to dominate technology issues. While many here may be supportive of gaming corporations especially in fighting for gaming free speech, overall corporate power is very destructive to free speech and anything that gets in the way of profit motive. There is no bigger backer of DCMA, the RIAA, and the MPAA than corporations and their lobbyists.

  32. 0
    Nitherean ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I am kind of amused that Rommey ducked these sort of questions. Anything that would pin him to one of many positions on a given topic….he ducks. That’s not a presidental thing to do.

    If Obama had more experience, he’d be a good asset to the country. I dont really like Hillary, but, having her in office means 1) no more Republican screw ups, and 2) Bill will be the First Man…..now that’s worth the price of admission.

  33. 0

    Even though I am registered as a Republican, I just don’t think I could support *any* of the Republican candidates this year. And while I would love to see a female president, I just don’t want to see that female as president. Right now, I’m leaning toward Obama or Paul, honestly.

  34. 0
    tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’d like to point out that Obama is no where near out of this race, Clinton’s lead is fairly small (less then 100 delegates) and most of the upcoming primaries strongly favor Obama

    the republican run is another mater, after yesterdays primaries Romney is pretty much dead in the water, while Huckabee gained ground he’s still a very long way away from Mccain who has all but one the nomination

    so it strongly looks like it will be Mccain vs either Barack or Clinton, if it’s Barack i’ll vote for him, if Clinton, i’m voting for Mccain as i feel that Mccain is the better candidate (or at least the lesser of 2 evils) over Hillary

  35. 0
    Arion ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    tech president eh.

    there is this awesome website that tracks candidate activity on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, various blogs.. awesome stuff with charts and stuff

    its eh… www. techpresident . dot com.

    check it!

  36. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    @ TBoneTony

    If you go on TV and tell people they can’t believe anything they hear on TV, won’t that cause a pardox that would rip a hole in the fabric of the universe?

    On topic:

    I can’t believe that the majority of Oklahoma Dems are idots and voted for Hillary. I do not want to see her in power, or even in a position where power is an option.

  37. 0
    Steve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why would anyone vote for Hillary?

    Well, among Democrats, Bill Clinton was pretty popular. And a lot was made of her involement in his politics back when he was in office. She has always been active in Bill’s career (she had to have had some reason to stay with him). A hillary Clinton presidency also means much of the same supporting staff that Bill had. Truth be told, they are who do most of the work anyway. So a lot of people see this as a return of Bill Clinton.

    Another reason is name recognition. If you are a loyal democrat, you want to vote for whoever has a good chance at beating the Republican in the general. Clinton comes with name recognition, money, and a top notch election staff.

    Another reason is simply that she is not Republican. Republicans had complete control for 6 years and failed to deliver on any of their promises. They increased government, they increased spending by insane amounts, they got us into a costly and unpopular war, and they have had a substantial amount of high profile scandals. With the economy slowing, inflation increasing, and our debt rising, many people are simply ready for a change of parties in the White House, so to many, it wouldn’t matter if it was Hillary or Barrack Obama on the ticket, the vote cast will essentially be anti-Republican.

    Those are a few reasons someone would vote for her. Personally, I’ll be voting Democrat, but prefer Obama because he has the least amount of past baggage. Neither of them get me too excited, though. But I will vote for either one in the general because I don’t think Republicans have done a very good job these last 7 years. Theonly positive thing they have done is lower taxes, but failed to lower (or even keep a satus quo on) spending, which should come hand in hand with lowering taxes.

    To McCains credit, he has said nearly the same thing, the only real problem I have with him is that he doesn’t have a problem with keeping the Iraq war going another decade.

  38. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Colonel Finn

    Gld to see I’m not the only one who thinks of her as a Soccer Mom. That’s exactly how she comes across to me, too. And like you, I don’t want a mom for a president.

    Tony Selby hit it on the head too. To some people, this is their way of putting Clinton back in. We’ve already had about 20 years of our country going back and forth between the Bushes and the Clintons now. That doesn’t strike me as a presidency anymore; that’s more like royal dynasties. We founded this country to get away from exactly that! And I don’t want this country goign back to a quasi-royalty either.

    People keep wondering exactly what Obama means when he says, “Change.” But to me it’s perfectly clear: Change the stagnation that’s in our government. Change the way we’ve been dealing with our economy and our education and our healthcare and our poor and the way we’ve been dealing with other countries for over the last 20 years. Because IT NO LONGER WORKS!

    It’s encouraging to hear that even after yesterday Obama is still in this fight and that he’s still politically viable. When the primaries come to my state next week, I’m voting for him (provided the super delegate in my state votes the same way). I’ll support him to the bitter end. To me he’s our last, best hope for our country if we’re to move forward. So if he loses, I’ll be extremely disappointed.

  39. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    None or the candidates, nor many of Net Neutrality’s supporters actually know what it takes for data transfer to occur. As a network admin, I’d hate to see my hands tied behind my back because of fear mongering and blind legislation.

  40. 0
    TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sadly I am in Australia and so I can’t do anything

    But oh….with my essay that I written last year I would love to go onto some popular news station in Obama’s state and reveal allot of interesting facts about Hillary….

    All we need is someone to do that and she is toast….if we can spread the word like butter and let others know they should not believe what they hear on TV.

    Hilary may have convinced the older generation or the feminists all because she is a woman, but I have known to look closer at their language that they use and judge them on their speeches and not on what they look like….

  41. 0
    Dracis says:

    Well, all one has to do is do a little digging into Mrs. Clinton’s background and you’ll find all sorts of dirty little things. It’s just sad that a good chunk of America is falling for her lies.

  42. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    She has already had 8 years in the White House. I don’t think she should get another 4. My wife listened to a political speach by her and was totally taken in. Did I mention my wife also believed those pads that detoxify by removing heavy metals through your foot while you sleep. And she has a pair of those magnet flip flops. In short, she’ll believe anything they say on TV, because no one would be allowed to lie on TV, right?

    The presidential race seems to be an IQ test for America. Too bad we are failing. How many times must the cheese on the right shock us before we learn to take the cheese on the left?

  43. 0
    tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Colonel Finn

    well many people view her as a way of putting Bill back in the White House, others are voting for her for the simple reason that she’s a woman and they want a female president (a very poor reason to choose a candidate in my opinion)

    for the most part she has name recognition she is a Clinton, her running is akin in the states to someone with the last name Kennedy running

    i agree with you entirely and would never vote for her (voted for Obama in the Primary here in CA), and i can’t understand why anybody that was listening to her positions would vote for her, but the big problem i feel is a lot of people vote that don’t listen to the candidates positions

  44. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    Hilary is a just an over-ambitious “Soccer Mom”.
    I use this phrase not lightly. She’s just like one of those mothers, the big question is would you let a Soccer Mom run your country.

    Seriously America, use the muscle in your head.
    Game Over.

  45. 0
    WarOtter ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I really don’t understand how anyone, not just gamers, can vote for Hilary. She is the most phony person in this race, right down to her being a New York senator(since all she did was move there to run for the senate, she cared nothing for the State itself). She is NOT a model of female strength, she is NOT a model of opposition to republicans, and she is definitely NOT a trustworthy character.

    I just don’t understand what people can possibly see in her besides a starched set of men’s clothing.

  46. 0
    Broken Scope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Zippy, paul suffers from the same thing many libertarians suffer from. The inability to compromise and realize that they could never do all the things they want to do in 8 years.

  47. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    There is no uniform answer, some just disagree with her policies and many left leaning people see her as a traitor to the cause ie voting for the war. In the end look at her issues and decide for yourself, you may end up liking her so then who cares what others think. Personally she is not my cup of tea, she comes across as cold, calculating, and approaches issues from the context of government is the answer, health care and so forth.

  48. 0
    Benji says:

    I was kind of lukewarm towards Obama, but I’m starting to like his general message, especially compared with Hillary’s. If you compare their ads (which were running heavily in CT this past week) Obama’s tended to have a “we can do great things, America!” and Hillary’s are more of a “vote for me or Bush/the economy/whatever will destroy us all!” Between a message of hope and a message of fear, I’ll take hope any day.

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