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Former Obama CTO compliments Trump's tech initiatives

Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Aneesh Chopra, the United States' first chief technology officer under the Obama administration, told Axios' Mike Allen this morning that he believes expanding tech literacy is a "wildly bipartisan" issue in government today. Chopra specifically cited the work of the Jared Kushner-headed Office of American Innovation as something that "mirrors very nicely" his Obama-era tech initiatives.

A big quote: "While you'll generally see those of us in the Obama world sort of fret all of those decisions [by the Trump administration], on this topic you'll see a lot of alignment and a lot of support."

More from Chopra's conversation at Axios' Future Shapers event:

  • He noted a disconnect between the "tech frontier" of cutting edge government research and the "laggard" daily, dated tech struggles of the everyday federal employee.
  • Social media is both a benefit and risk for our society, according to Chopra, as Americans have access to a new "wealth of information" but still choose to "self select and filter out news that they don't necessarily agree with."
  • Chopra cited India's "frictionless digital society" as a goal for the United States, calling it "infrastructure for a modern age" with nationwide biometric ID cards. Of the U.S., he asked, "We have large swaths of the country that don't have any communications capacity…How are we going to add economic opportunity if we don't have basic communications infrastructure?"