Monday, August 15, 2005

Once, in the spring of 2001, I was invited by then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to address the Senate Democratic caucus. I outlined the three digital divides facing the Democrats: The fact that Republicans were outspending them on technology and out-organizing them... The fact that Democrats were voting against bills to increase spending on broadband infrastructure, which was like voting against a subsidy for their own base--since it's the less well-off who are less likely to be online... The fact that no one was thinking about measuring the technology quotient in any piece of legislation: Would this program be made obsolete by new technology, could it be enhanced, etc... Here are two responses I got. First Senator Dianne Feinstein raised her hand and said, "Senator Daschle, the Internet is full of pornography and pedophilia, and until that's clean up, I don't think the Senate should be on the Internet." (And she represents Silicon Valley!)


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