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Robert Scoble goes toe-to-toe with Aneesh Chopra over the impact on innovation.
Last night at a Churchill Club event in Mountain View, Aneesh Chopra, the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States, and tech uberblogger Robert Scoble exchanged thoughts on the Marine’s recent Twitter ban as well as new tech companies Aardvark, Mint.com, and the Geeks in Government initiative.
Scoble said the Twitter clamp-down “is sending a horrible message” that Twitter is too scary, and that declaring new technologies off-limits to the Marines might discourage innovation more generally. He contrasted the ban with the Washington State Transportation Department’s initiative to enable drivers to tweet the boarder crossing and receive a message back with the wait time.
Chopra declined to prescribe any policies for the State Department, but said that the government's plan to build an e-government platform with social networking and cloud computing features "is not ready yet," but once security measures are in place, it will make government more open and transparent. He did acknowledge problems with the rate of tech adoption in DC, though. “For crying out loud, in the White House itself, I can’t access hardly anything! Okay, to be very frank with you, up until a month ago, I had such a poor browser that when I wanted to go visit Mint.com to go through my financials or whatever, it would say, ‘This browser is so old I can’t use it.’”
Chopra laid out plans for an overhaul of the $72 billion IT budget in DC, and explained the administration's plans to corral technology to improve healthcare, education, security and energy. I'll post more on his talk, which was generally more profound than the one irresistible pullquote above, over the next couple days.
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