Washington had to face down a lot of technological issues this year, and on a staggering variety of topics. Debates and committee reports flew fast and furious all through the beltway, and lobbyists threw their hands in at every opportunity.
But now that the dust is settling, and the calendar is about to strike 2013 despite the Mayans' insistence to the contrary, what actually happened in 2012 in tech?
Perhaps the biggest impact in terms of technology and the government was around the rights of intellectual property (IP) holders and creators, compared to the rights of everyone else.
To that end, the government launched a pair of potential laws going by the names of SOPA and PIPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, respectively. Both bills drew the ire of not only the technology industry as a whole, but also regular people, who flooded their representatives and senators with calls and other communications (some reports peg the numbers at 10 million signing petitions, eight million phone calls and four million e-mail messages) insisting that both of these were terrible ideas that would have done much more harm than good... Read More