Trump’s cunning plan for technology

Donald-Trump-funnyUS comedy candidate Donald Trump’s surprise win has put the wind up Silicon Valley which is now starting to look seriously at his tech policies which could make their lives miserable.

First up, Trump said that he will force all those US companies who are making their goods overseas to come back to the US. He specifically singled out Apple he feels it should “start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries”.

Now this could be resolved if the companies in question moved their base out of the US and became a citizen of some other country. But Trump has also promised tariffs on imported products, especially from China, as part of a plan to ensure more companies manufacture in the USA.

To make life even harder for US tech, Trump will clamp down on H-1B visas, which will make it hard for US-based businesses to bring in skilled tech talent from abroad. This will mean that US companies will have to use more expensive US labour, which is not a bad thing. However tech companies say that they have a problem finding people with the skills they need. This is presumably because US universities and schools cost so much.

Where tech might win is in the cyber security area. Trump wants an “immediate review of all U.S. cyber defences and vulnerabilities, including critical infrastructure, by a Cyber Review Team of individuals from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector”.

He wants joint Federal, State, and local task forces to respond to cyber threats and a vision to

“Develop the offensive cyber capabilities we need to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately.”

It is not clear how that differs from previous initiatives, or from what is going on now. However, it could mean that monitoring which was abandoned under Snowden will become a thing again.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership with is copyright-enhancing provisions favoured by Big Content will probably be spiked.