With the exception of Mrs. Clinton and her email scandal, few presidential candidates of either party have been moved during their campaigns to discuss technology at length. That changes today, as Donald Trump gives an exclusive interview to Breitbart Tech about hacking, cyber-warfare and artificial intelligence.
BREITBART TECH: What’s your position on the NSA? Has it overreached in recent years, or is it an essential line of defense in the fight against terrorism?
TRUMP: The National Security Agency (NSA) is charged with collecting electronic intelligence from a host of sources around the world and from those who live in America who might wish ill on our country and its people. To accomplish that mission, the NSA has been given great latitude in how it conducts itself, especially after the events of 9/11.
To the extent that the agency can accomplish its mission without violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, it should be given as much leeway as possible. However, American citizens are guaranteed certain protections. There must be a balance between those Constitutional protections and the role of the government in protecting its citizens. Congress should continue to be the arbiter of that balance.
BREITBART TECH: What is the current state of America’s cyber defenses? How should the Federal Government protect American businesses from cyber warfare? How would you defeat Chinese hackers?
TRUMP: Understanding the technical aspects of how the Internet works is important to understanding how difficult it is to defend access to American government and private enterprises. To that end, the American government has a responsibility to defend the nation from all attacks, kinetic, cyber or otherwise.
As has been the case since immediately after 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security, through its various departments and agencies, have been working with the private sector to cooperate on securing our electronic communications. It is a constant battle, but we have done a fairly good job.
However, we continue to have persistent, intentional and deliberate attacks on American cyberspace by agents from, or acting on behalf of, China. These actions border on being acts of war. America should counter attack and make public every action taken by China to steal or disrupt our operations, whether they be private or governmental.
BREITBART TECH: How do you plan to use the internet to reach out to young people and minorities?
TRUMP: The Internet is a tool. Sometimes it is a scalpel. Sometimes it is a chainsaw. It has proven to be a great new messaging tool for any number of causes, including getting people elected to office. Access to the Internet is critical if is to be used to reach young people or minorities. Young people, generally, can be reached through social media.
As for reaching minorities, the next President must go beyond using the Internet and must go into neighborhoods, churches, community centers and schools to make that personal contact. Frank dialogue and personal commitment is by far the best approach.
BREITBART TECH: What effect will a Donald Trump presidency have on the tech industry and internet culture?
TRUMP: I am a big believer in technology and will be a strong supporter of expanding tech capabilities in the United States. As President, my goal would be to ensure that the intellectual property produced in America remains the property of those who produce it. Letting other countries steal our property will not happen on my watch.
BREITBART TECH: Stephen Hawking recently speculated that artificial intelligence will pose an existential threat to humanity. How do you see artificial intelligence being used for good, and for bad? What is your take on where we are heading?
TRUMP: I have always been concerned about the social breakdown of our culture caused by technology. I think the increased dependence and addiction to electronic devices is unhealthy. Of course, these trends tend to swing like a pendulum, so I am confident we will find a balance along the way.
As for artificial intelligence, again it can either be a scalpel or a chainsaw. Creators and users alike should always consider the ethical and moral consequences of all activities. If we lose our way morally, we are doomed as a society.