As part of his transition process, President-Elect Trump has been meeting with senior executives from various industries. His meeting with the best of the news media, who he believes worked against his campaign, was described as “a fucking firing squad.” So how’s the meeting with the best of the tech world, which is being blamed for his victory, going to go?
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According to a report from USA Today, Trump’s team has sent out invitations for a December 14th meeting to leaders from the tech industry. They’re not specified, but you’d imagine the CEOs of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and the like to be on that list.
With the notable exception of PayPal founder Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley was notably pro-Clinton during the campaign. But that hasn’t stopped accusations being thrown at Facebook and Google, which did little to tackle the problem of fake news during the election.
In theory, there should be a lot of technology-related topics to talk about. Trump did spend some time on the campaign trail talking about “the cybers,” so there might be some discussion of how to tackle the questions of national cybersecurity. With Apple in particular, there’s the question of overseas manufacturing and taxes; Apple has reportedly started looking at the feasibility of bringing iPhone manufacturing back to the States, something Trump would be on board with.
Then there’s darker topics like enlisting the help of technology companies with Trump’s immigration policies. Any kind of national register of immigrants would be a massive technological undertaking that would need Silicon Valley support; even if tech companies don’t work directly for the federal government, data-sharing and co-operation of the type that Edward Snowden revealed will probably be on the table.
Overall, there’s a lot for Trump and the technology industry to discuss; let’s just hope tha this meeting will be a little more productive than the “firing squad” of the news media.