2020 General Election Results to Directly Impact Tech Industry


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The outcome of the 2020 General Election will have serious repercussions for the technology industry, according to GlobalData.

And the repercussions will reverberate not just in the United States, but globally, it said. These repercussions will run across multiple areas. Those include immigration policies governing skilled tech employees; potential regulations against large cloud service companies like Facebook and Google; R&D funding priorities; and data privacy regulations.

In addition, the 2020 General Election results could have major implications for ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and China. Those could impact global technology supply chains.

John Byrne is GlobalData’s service director for telecom technology and software.

GlobalData's John Byrne

GlobalData’s John Byrne

“It is a cliché to say elections have consequences,” he said. “However, in this election the consequences are perhaps greater than they have been in any U.S. election cycle in recent memory. This is particularly so in regards to the impact on the technology industry globally. Policy and regulatory decisions alongside new legislative imperatives for the next four years at least will be significantly determined by the outcome. Those impacts will be felt by the entire industry, including hardware and software vendors, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, and network operators.”

Outcomes and Impact

If the Republicans win the presidency, and control of both houses of Congress, expect visa denial rates for skilled immigrants to remain high, GlobalData said. Denial rates already have risen during the past few years.

By contrast, under a full Democratic scenario, greater immigration would be likely. However, new safeguards would mean they are unlikely to return to levels seen during the Obama administration.

“The issue of immigration has enormous consequences for continued tech innovation in the U.S.,” Byrne said. ” The H1-B visa in particular has been a bone of contention. Depending on your viewpoint, it represents an abuse of American workers or an opportunity to garner new tech talent that might otherwise go to Europe or Asia.”

Furthermore, under a Republican president and executive branch, regulation of cloud service giants is likely to focus on issues of perceived suppression of conservative viewpoints on social media. By contrast, Democratic control would likely bring pressure to support stricter antitrust actions against the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google.

“There is no question that the pressure is going to continue to grow against (large cloud service firms) and social media,” Byrne said. “The difference is whether that pressure focuses primarily on Republican concerns over censorship or on Democratic concern over unduly large market power that stifles competition.”

Pressure on China to Continue Regardless

Under a Republican president and regardless of which party controls the House and Senate, extreme pressure against Chinese vendors is likely to continue, GlobalData said. This would lead to a division of supply chains between Western and Asian suppliers. However, U.S regulations against certain Chinese vendors are likely to remain in place.

“Regardless of the election outcome, pressure against Chinese vendors will continue,” Byrne said. “The larger issue is whether the current trade disputes with China result in permanent changes to the supply chains, as appears likely under a Republican administration, or whether tensions ratchet down under a more normalized trade environment, which could largely maintain the status quo.”

Phishing Attacks on Election Domains

In other 2020 General Election news, Valimail reports a high volume of impersonation-based email phishing attacks that utilize domains involved in the election.

The report highlights a lack of adherence to email authentication standards for email domains associated with campaigns, PACs, government offices and election system manufacturers. Valimail found most domains were unprotected from email spoofing. That means they could easily be impersonated by attackers pretending to play some role in the election infrastructure.

Alexander García-Tobar is Valimail‘s CEO and co-founder.

“It’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which …

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