January 4, 2008 4:00 AM PST

Technology Voters' Guide: Chris Dodd

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The Department of Homeland Security has proposed extensive Real ID requirements restricting which state ID cards can be accepted at federal buildings and airports. Do you support those regulations as written, would you want to repeal Real ID, or would you prefer something in between?
Dodd: At the same time that we need to reform our immigration system, we need to turn back those who have seized on the fear caused by the September 11 attacks to drive through their agenda with bills like the Real ID Act. In my opinion, that bill amounted to nothing more than a national ID card.

The idea of assigning people bar codes--I can hardly imagine a law that goes more against what we believe and who we are as a nation. I believe we are better than this.

The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the proposed merger of Google and DoubleClick. Some members of Congress have raised privacy concerns, while others have said the deal should proceed. What are your views? (Editors' note: We posed this question before the FTC gave the merger unconditional approval on December 20.)
Dodd: The privacy of Americans' Internet records is a great concern for me--something I told Google employees in person when I appeared at their Candidates@Google forum (in December).

We know the Bush administration has sought unprecedented access, sometimes without warrant, to data from telecommunications companies. This should be a reminder to us that there must be strong privacy protections in place whenever companies handle this sort of data. Beyond that, I share Sen. Dorgan's concerns about antitrust violations with Google's online data collection.

Recently, there's been a lot of talk about sex offenders using social-networking sites. What, if any, new federal laws are needed in this area?
Dodd: As a founder of the Senate's Children Caucus, no one in Congress takes the threats that children face more seriously than I do. But that doesn't mean that Facebook or MySpace.com require new legislative initiatives to protect children.

Rather, we need to ensure that we have strong oversight of these new technologies, as well as clear policies on social-networking sites for handling online predation. In so doing, Congress should be attuned to the particular challenges that may arise regarding predatory behavior on social-networking sites.

The Bush administration has supported legally requiring Internet service providers, and perhaps search engines and social-networking Web sites as well, to keep logs on who their users are and what they do. Do you support federal legislation, such as HR 837, to mandate data retention?
Dodd: At a time when we learn about new executive branch efforts to acquire data through telecommunications companies on Americans suspected of no crimes, I am very wary about requiring our Internet service providers to store even more information about their users.

I do not support the record retention provisions included in HR 837, as it would create an even greater risk for abuse. Names, e-mails, sites visited, and search records are bad enough--but to add the requirement that ISPs retain information about the addresses of their users is beyond disturbing, when we talk about countless Americans who are neither being charged with nor suspected of guilt of any crime.

Do you support enacting federal laws providing for any or all of the following: a) a permanent research-and-development tax credit, b) a permanent moratorium on Internet access taxes, and c) an increase in the current limits on H-1B visas?
Dodd: The United States must make certain that its citizens have the education necessary to vie for job positions and are economically viable options for employers. In this vein, Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed an amendment to the first immigration reform bill that served two purposes.

It raised the cap on the number of H-1B visas available each year, while increasing the competitiveness of American skilled workers by raising the H-1B fee for employers, and using the additional revenue to create an American Competitiveness Scholarship Fund for qualified students pursuing higher education in the sciences. I voted for this amendment, and it passed by a vote of 59 to 35.

We have to know: what's your favorite gadget?
Dodd: The Dodd Pod--my iPod that's been filled with songs suggested by my supporters.

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Too bad he has dropped out of the race, see link below:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0427118820080104" target="_newWindow">http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0427118820080104</a>
Posted by jeremyweisser (1 comment )
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