CTO, Stars and Stripes Incorporated

While all eyes are on who Obama will pick as his running mate, Robert Scoble's encouraging his readers to discuss who should be Obama's CTO. In case you missed it, Obama has said that, should he become prez, he'll appoint a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), who'll be responsible for setting the technology agenda in all areas of government. But it stands to reason that such a figurehead would have a highly public profile, and his or her influence would stretch beyond public office, and probably beyond American borders.

From the relative safety of my sofa in London, it's fun to speculate as to who might be good at this job. Scoble included a good suggestion (Larry Lessig) and a jaw-on-the-floor bad suggestion (Bill Gates) in his blog post. Vint Cerf came up in the comments, he'd get a vote from me. But then so did Michael Arrington *slaps forehead*. Some wag suggested RMS!

I was surprised that Doc Searls didn't get a mention. There can't be many web celebrities who are as well informed, well respected and persuasive as Doc. It would be nice if Bruce Schneier was involved in some capacity too; heck, that could have positive repurcussions on their foreign policy too.

The reality is that none of these guys would take a job as Obama's CTO; it really isn't their style. But we can hope that the person elected to the role will be well connected to this crowd, so they can keep abreast of the latest issues and developments (particularly regarding net neutrality and privacy), and not just be influenced by those with the deepest pockets. And fingers crossed we won't get another series of tubes style gaff from someone with more power than sense...