How can the Internet change government?
The most important issue, frankly, is that we need to elect politicians who believe in the Internet as a way of getting more input from citizens to government. And we have some politicians who embrace that. And we have some politicians who have actually publicly said they want as little citizen input as possible. [Before the presidential election,] a representative of the Bush/McCain team said that the American people only get input every four years. That's the way the system works. That was [White House Press Secretary] Dana Perino.
How are you working to change that?
I quietly try to talk to people, saying, 'Hey, we are not in as big a disagreement as we thought.' I'm sure people do disagree on some of these issues, but there are people taught to heighten the argument for, well, for profit. I do believe in minimal regulation. However, if companies want to make money using a public resource, whether it be airwaves or public rights of way, you've go to do the right thing, partially as dictated by the public. You've got to give back something.
What would that look like?
One of the best things the U.S. government ever did was the Marshall Plan. It was really good as a representation of American values, and in the long range it was perhaps our most effective counterterrorism program. And I'm figuring out how to do my bid for a new kind of Marshall Plan. I'm working with Kiva on something new, and I'll stop there, because it's in a sensitive part of the world. And Jim [Buckmaster, Craigslist CEO and programmer] will spank me if I say anything more.