July 9, 2021

THUMBS DOWN ON HOUSE BIG TECH REFORM: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ranking Minority Member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) worked together to produce a package of Big Tech reforms that are likely to get a fair amount of attention in coming weeks.

But Mike Davis of the Internet Accountability Project (IAP) says the package is little more than a big win for Silicon Valley:

“The Judiciary Committee frameworks create a private right of action for Americans to vindicate their rights when Big Tech infringes upon them. Under this framework, Americans will be given ‘the chance to sue the tech giants for a[n] infringement of their free speech rights.’

“The frameworks also seek to move all antitrust enforcement authority to the DOJ thereby cutting off half the government’s resources to go after Big Tech for antitrust violations. These proposals combined effectively shift the burden and cost of enforcement onto the individual citizen and are a huge win for Big Tech.”

And on the specific issue of censorship, Davis argues that:

“The Judiciary frameworks still leave incredible amounts of discretion to the Big Tech platforms. Under this rubric, the Big Tech companies can just state in their content moderation policy that specific speech is not allowed and then they will be completely justified in taking the content down. This does nothing to protect conservatives and make sure they have a place in the digital public square.”

Davis is a Hill staff veteran, with multiple years of serve as Chief Counsel  for Nominations to former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

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