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President George W. Bush left a complex tech legacy through a multitude of legislation and policies. Among the changes he supported were expanded government, cuts to online privacy, increased military tech spending, and support for the automotive and alternative energy industries.
Bush created a tech legacy filled with good and bad

In the words of President George W. Bush, "Is our children learning?"

If by "child" he was referring to the government's tech efforts, the answer would be yes.  However, what it has learned, what changes and policies have been implemented during President Bush's administration are a complex and lengthy topic to consider as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office.

Some of the changes were superficial.  The got a makeover and relaunch this week.  Some of the recent tech legislative provisions passed through were considered somewhat trivial.

However, other changes were big.  President Bush's use of warrantless wiretaps and push for immunity for cooperating telecoms struck many as government playing big brother.  Law enforcement without regulation or responsibility, they argue could quickly go astray.  Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were among Bush's close allies to take the opposite stance, arguing the executive had the power to enforce laws without the necessity of regulation at times.  Mr. Gonzales stated, "The president has the inherent authority under the Constitution, as commander-in-chief, to engage in this kind of activity."

President Bush also tried to push through legislation which would provide the beginnings of a renewed focus on cybersecurity.  While recent war games have shown the country woefully prepared for an organized cyber assault, progress was made in this arena.

Bush showed support for copyright protection efforts.  Under his administration, the RIAA was encouraged to carry out its aggressive campaign, which generated much public attention, but ultimately failed to curb piracy.

On other subjects, though President Bush voiced its opinion, but deferred to Congress.  President Bush opposed auctioning the wireless spectrum, but he allowed the Federal Communications Commission Chief, Kevin Martin, whom he appointed, to proceed with an auction anyway.  Bush also opposed legislating net neutrality, but again Mr. Martin sided against his boss and pushed through changes.

President Bush will also be remembered for his bailout of the automotive industry, an integral part of the U.S. tech industry.  Some point out that with this bailout and others, combined with the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie May, Bush brought elements of mild socialism to the U.S. 

President Bush also sided with bipartisan efforts in Congress to sign into law new fuel economy standards and provide tax incentives to alternative energy firms.  And he set the nation's sights on the Moon, encouraging NASA to undertake the ambitious Ares program to return to the moon.  Under Bush's presidency the internet was also kept tax free on a federal level.

Ultimately the only broad conclusion one can draw from President Bush's tech legacy is that it is complex and likely a sign of things to come.  With President-elect Barack Obama set to take office and push an ambitious new tech-oriented agenda, the torch has been passed, and it appears that the government's tech efforts will only grow.  Whether this will entail a continuation of President Bush's championed expanded role of government, or a more regulation laissez-faire, but financially supportive approach to the tech industry, though remains to be seen.

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RE: Good lord, Jason
By masher2 on 1/19/2009 1:23:36 PM , Rating: 3
> "The points here are sourced either in the CNET report linked, or in previous DailyTech articles"

That doesn't change the fact they're largely inaccurate, incomplete, and/or misleading.

> " However, the Bush administration condoned the RIAA's legal campaign, by largely ignoring the topic"

Huh? The RIAA's campaign was within their rights under the law. The executive branch only enforces current law. It's the job of Congress to change laws, not the president. What did you want Bush to do, call in a fighter strike on their headquarters?

> "I'm sure some will perceive bias for or against Bush"

Jason, if you believe *anyone* will perceive this as being "for" Bush, you're deluding yourself sadly. It's a clear political hit piece, right down to your choice of photographs.

Personally, I have no problem with hitting Bush on domestic spying. But at least be honest about it, don't try to disguise the piece as some unbiased look at his "tech legacy".

RE: Good lord, Jason
By JasonMick on 1/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Good lord, Jason
By masher2 on 1/19/2009 2:29:51 PM , Rating: 5
If Bush wanted to revise copyright law to provide monetary fines and punishment for infringement similar to other examples of petty theft, he could have easily done so.
No. He can do no more than propose to Congress that they do so. You're perfectly happy to give the Democratically-controlled Congress a bye for not addressing copyright law, but you castigate Bush for nothing more than not suggesting they rectify their own failings? What about you yourself? Did you vote for your congressional representative, a person who, unlike Bush, actually has the authority to act here, but didn't?

The facts are simple. Bush did not "encourage" the RIAA to act. They were granted that authority by Clinton, and allowed to continue by Congress.

As to his legacy, Ares, keeping the internet tax free, and increased cybersecurity are only a few of the items that I mention about bush in a favorable light
You hardly mention cybersecurity in a positive light. As for Ares, one sentence, buried in the next-to-last paragraph? Oh yes, the balance just screams out.

Did you say anything about his promotion of hydrogen technology? His plans for a manned mission to Mars? Nuclear-powered space travel? His calls to make broadband available and affordable to all citizens (something it wasn't when he first took office)? The initiatives to streamline and modernize heath information technology? The promotion of Internet-based government transactions (how many government agencies allowed you to conduct any transactions over the web prior to Bush's tenure?) His permanent R&D tax credit for business? His billions in federal R&D funding-- the largest in history?

I won't even bring up the absurdity of calling a piece "balanced" when it's led off with a malapropism like "Is our children learning"? The sheer fact that you deny or denigrate Bush's real accomplishments, while blaming him for situations not of his own making, speaks for itself.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2009 10:24:55 PM , Rating: 4
Bush brought elements of mild socialism to the U.S.

Anyone putting this in a so called *balanced* article is clearly biased.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By angryandroid on 1/20/2009 4:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
Come on now children, stop fighting.

I'm not American and even I want today to be a great day. Love, peace and all that good stuff.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 4:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
No offense masher, but it seems that your replys are just as much based on opinion as Jason's article. I agree this article should have been a blog to begin with, but your replies seem very demeaning and it seems as though you are implying that he is wrong and you are right, which is just not the case as you both bring valid points to the table, some of which is fact, some of which is opinion.

Now if only bias/unbiased comments had their own section on DT, seems as though you have gained quite the following ;)

RE: Good lord, Jason
By smitty3268 on 1/20/2009 10:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, this should be a blog entry. It was certainly written from a liberal perspective, but I'd easily rate it as more even then masher's response which was even more biased in the opposite direction. He at least mentioned both some positives and negatives. The response by masher made it sound like the guy never made a single mistake.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By RubberJohnny on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good lord, Jason
By theendofallsongs on 1/20/2009 11:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're both missing the point of the whole argument. Its not about Bush at all, it was about the biased reporting. What does domestic spying have to do with Bush's "technology legacy"? It was just an excuse to bring up something that gripes the author. Putting a positive sentance or two at the end doesn't make an article balanced either.

A lot of people don't like Bush. Thats no excuse to rewrite history. Something no one here has mentioned is how much Bush expanded NASA's budget (and he tried to expand it a lot more, but Congress blocked it. After the big cuts of the Clinton years, that makes a big difference.

RE: Good lord, Jason
By smitty3268 on 1/21/2009 2:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, the wiretap stuff was a stretch. But it actually makes a little bit of sense if you think about tech policy from a governmental policy/legal standpoint and not from a tech enthusiast standpoint.

More to the point, try reading that part about the wiretaps again. I count 2 sentences saying it was controversial, and another 2 saying that prominent officials were supportive of it and didn't see anything wrong with it. I didn't get even a whiff of trying to make an argument there, just bringing up what was obviously a major part of Bush's legacy.

I get the feeling people are reading stuff into what was written here, that wasn't actually said. Because Jason has been critical of the policy in the past, there is an automatic assumption that by bringing it up here there was more of the same, but I just don't see it.

Something no one here has mentioned is how much Bush expanded NASA's budget (and he tried to expand it a lot more, but Congress blocked it.

Color me unimpressed. Sure, Bush tried to turn around NASA. But I'm still not convinced that he actually succeeded. Maybe in 20 years this view will be vindicated, but I think it's a little early to call this part of his "legacy". Still, I'll grant you it probably belongs there as much as the wiretaps stuff does.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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