Sunday, June 16, 2024

Candidates on Jobs, Spam, Security Questions

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As election day nears, presidential candidates President George W. Bush

and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) have taken on high-tech issues like spam,

cyber security and globalization in a series of questions and answers.

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) surveyed both

candidates on various issues critical to the IT industry. Here is how

the candidates’ camps weighed in on some of the questions:

Q: What government training, education and certification policies can

help make American technology workers more competitive in the global


Bush: I will make loans available to help workers pay for

short-term training that leads to an industry-recognized credential or

certificate… My ”Jobs for the 21st Century” provides $250 million

for a new, employer-focused grant program that leverages the expertise

of America’s community and technical colleges to train workers for new

jobs in high-growth industries.

Kerry: I will work to build the workforce of the future by

investing in K-12 math and science education, rewarding colleges for

increasing the number of science and engineering degrees, and creating

state-of-the-art online learning technologies that allow hardworking

American workers to get high-quality training and education at a time,

place, and pace that works for them.

Q: What is the appropriate role of the federal and state governments

regarding Internet telephony and other similar Internet


Kerry: I am open to examining the best methods to deploy new

technology in a way that is consumer friendly and promotes a competitive


Bush: I support innovative communications technologies like Voice

Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and believe they will lead to more

communications choices for consumers… Internet telephony by its nature

relies on technology that does not distinguish geographic borders. This

requires us to take a hard look at the appropriate role of federal and

state regulators with respect to a technology that may be more similar

to email than to regular telephony, at least in the way the signal is


Q: What should the federal government do to address the issue of

cyber security?

Bush: I announced the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace in

February 2003. This plan, which complements the National Strategy for

the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Key Assets,

depends on both public and private efforts to secure the many elements

that comprise the national information infrastructure, including

routers, switches, fiber-optic cables, and tens of millions of

interconnected computers. The strategy provides five national cyber

security priorities: a national security response system; vulnerability

reduction program; an awareness and training program; a government

cyberspace security program, and a national security and international

cyberspace security cooperation.

Kerry: We need a president who will devote the energy of the

White House to making our networks — our 21st century infrastructure —

stronger and more secure. That means supporting a cyber security

intelligence system ready to detect these threats. I will implement

global standards and best practices so that weak links are

strengthened… Most of the infrastructure we need to protect doesn’t

belong to government — and neither government nor business can fix

these problems alone.

Q: What should the federal government’s role be in regard to


Kerry: I am open to considering the best means available to

ensure people do not receive unsolicited email.

Bush: The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography

and Marketing (CAN-Spam) Act of 2003 that I signed into law will help

address the problems associated with the abuse of Spam. It also creates

new criminal penalties to assist in deterring the most offensive forms

of Spam, including unmarked sexually-oriented messages and emails

containing fraudulent headers… Consumers are provided with a choice

not to receive any further unsolicited messages from a sender and

senders that do not honor a consumer’s request are subject to civil


Q: How important is the IT industry to the growth and development of

this nation?

Bush: We must continue to tap into the transformations that

information technology can bring about in organizations within a vast

array of industries and sectors. America needs a strong information

technology sector in order to compete in the global economy… My

support for the information technology sector and agenda for America’s

future has attracted the support of more than 26,000 investors, 32,000

high-tech leaders, and 71,000 small business owners.

Kerry: In some areas, there are appropriate steps that the

government can take, working with the private sector, to promote key

applications of IT that improve our quality of life. These include:

overcoming legal and regulatory barriers to the adoption of IT; making

the government an intelligent user of new technologies to carry out its

missions; support for R&D and pilot projects; and establishing

longer-term national goals on the use of IT… I will direct my cabinet

to develop an ”Innovation Agenda” built upon public-private

partnerships that harness IT and advance the following goals: promote

digital opportunity; make our government more open, responsive, and

efficient; transform America’s healthcare system; empower people with

disabilities to lead more independent lives; and put America’s cultural

heritage at the fingertips of every American.

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