One might yawn at the announcement, if Chorpa himself wasn’t a former Obama administration appointee who rode shotgun for SOPA/PIPA legislation:
Chopra got into government by serving as then Gov. Tim Kaine‘s Secretary of Technology. His effort was impressive enough that after Barack Obama captured the White House, Kaine recommended Chopra for a similar role in Washington, D.C.. Chopra was the first U.S. Chief Technology Officer and held the role for roughly 2 and half years. His job was to help integrate technology into all U.S. policy decisions. It was the first time in American history that technology was given such an important role in the shaping of government decisions. Part of his effort was to make the government’s work more transparent by posting a wide range of the public’s work online.
The position by its nature is not open to much controversy, but Chopra did find himself in some. He was forced to defend the Administration’s position on the controversial SOPA/PIPA legislation that was designed to reign in internet piracy issues. The Obama administration never formally endorsed the two pieces of legislation but did concede that internet piracy was a problem. They however were reluctant to get behind any policy that they felt inhibited free expression and innovation. Eventually the heated debate led to the legislation being killed and at this point there is no serious movement toward developing a cogent policy to combat internet piracy.
With Virginia’s long history defending the rights of free expression and free information exchange, I can’t imagine an individual with such deep ties to SOPA and PIPA really making the grade — and especially not within the Democratic Party.
Still, that a Kaine progressive-wing insider is making a token bid, that certainly opens the door for whomever else might come in from the more sane liberal wing of the Democratic Party.