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How Will Trump’s Victory Impact Cybersecurity, Tech and Internet Policy?

Whether you're pleased or shocked by the stunning upset Donald Trump notched last night, his election as the 45th president raises questions on how his administration will try to change Internet policy and address the wide number of cybersecurity issues facing businesses and end users.

If some of his remarks about cybersecurity, encryption and Internet regulation including net-neutrality during his 17-month campaign are any indication, there are reasons to believe big changes are in store. One big question is whether he will press for higher restrictions on encryption and the government's overall approach to encryption.

When the California Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym earlier this year ordered Apple to help the FBI decrypt the iPhone used by suspected terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, who, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in the December 2015 San Bernardino, Calif., shootings, Trump called on a boycott of Apple.

"Apple ought to give the security for that phone, OK. What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such a time as they give that security number. How do you like that? I just thought of it. Boycott Apple," Trump said at the time. "The phone's not even owned by this young thug that killed all these people. The phone's owned by the government, OK, it's not even his phone," Trump said. "But [Apple CEO] Tim Cook is looking to do a big number, probably to show how liberal he is. But Apple should give up, they should get the security or find other people."

According to a post today by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Trump supports weakening of encryption in favor of stronger homeland security. The post also addresses his positions on number of other issues that will impact the IT industry, including his opposition to H-B1 visas and has articulated little in terms of whether he would advocate for increased R&D investments in technology.

The new president-elect has also advocated for restricting Internet access to stop terrorist organizations like ISIS from recruiting. "I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody." Trump said, according to the On the Issues site. "I don't want to let people that want to kill us use our Internet."

The site also questioned Trump's understanding of 'Net Neutrality when he compared it to the Fairness Doctrine.

Clearly by his remarks, the new president-elect is not up to speed on many of these issues. Now that the campaign is over and once he assumes office though, the advisors he surrounds himself with and the appointments he makes could have a major impact.

What's your prediction on how he will address cybersecurity, Internet policy and other IT-related issues?

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/09/2016 at 1:15 PM


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