Now that the shock surrounding the US election is beginning to ease off, attention has moved on to how Donald Trump’s policies will affect America, particularly the tech industry.
It will come as no surprise that most of Silicon Valley and its top executives were vocal supporters of Hillary Clinton. That’s all except Peter Thiel, a billionaire, Facebook board member, and PayPal co-founder; he made his fortune backing some of the internet’s largest companies back when they were tiny startups. Thanks to his support and a $1.25 million pledge to the campaign, Thiel has informally entered Trump’s inner circle as tech adviser.
Another big talking point for Trump has been cybersecurity, a potential policy topic which Trump laid out at his first debate with Clinton. Cyberattacks are becoming a bigger problem than ever before with Forrester Research predicting that “within the first 100 days, the new president will face a cybercrisis”.
Speaking about the matter at the Presidential debate back in September, Trump said: “It is a huge problem. I have a son – he’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe, it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better. And certainly cyber is one of them.”
Considering The New York Daily News described the statement as “an out-of-touch comment that would come from your tech-illiterate grandpa”, it is understandable why Silicon Valley is bracing itself for years of uncertainty and a potential threat to the global home of tech innovation.