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As November's national election looms in the United States, voters can expect increasing coverage of the hot-button issues through the mainstream media and campaign ads. On issues important to the open source and free software communities, however, information is harder to come by. Today we take a look at what the Democratic and Republican candidates say about questions close to the FOSS voter.

Both Barack Obama and John McCain have position papers on their campaign Web sites that deal with technology and other issues. In addition, both national parties have their official platforms available for download in PDF format. All of the information below comes directly from these documents.

For the most part, you can find the candidates' stances on technology issues on self-contained "Technology" pages, which cover far more topics than software and networking. I recommend that you read them in detail, but also that you check out their other position papers, since so many technology issues overlap with other areas of public policy.

Net neutrality

One clear distinction between the two camps is their stance on network neutrality. Barack Obama is openly in favor of it, and John McCain opposes it.

The Obama plan states that the historic openness of the Internet is the key to its success, and that that openness must be preserved:

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