As I watch the founders of GeekPAC, a political action group aimed at defending the information rights of U.S. citizens, get themselves up and running I can't help but wonder what other tech-oriented groups would benefit from a similar group. Would IT workers? What would they lobby for?
Sick of having what they consider to be free information on lockdown from public access, the organizers of GeekPAC have come up with a really great idea: Use the power of the political office to effect change.
Whereas the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) spends the majority of its time and resources fighting court battles against laws that already exist, GeekPAC wants to (among other things) impact laws before they're made. Is this an idea that would also help solve some of the issues facing IT workers today?
There's a huge question concerning the legalities of tech worker overtime winding it's way through the court system right now. Of course there are laws governing the overtime rights of workers in general, but none that I know of specifically targeted at tech workers. Due to the unique nature of their jobs, firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers have their own overtime rules and regulations in place. As this nation becomes increasingly reliant on technology in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, tech workers are also becoming crucial to our infrastructure.
Despite years of training and experience, IT workers are now facing massive layoffs due to outsourcing and downsizing. Politicians have lobbied in the past for other industries facing similar evisceration, what about this one?
GeekPAC is a terrific idea and one that could easily be adapted to other segments of the tech industry. If your IT department had access to a politician for a day, what would you tell him?