President Joe Biden says Democrats and Republicans need to unite against Big Tech "abuses," and pass strong bipartisan legislation to hold companies accountable.
"The American tech industry is the most innovative in the world. I’m proud of what it has accomplished, and of the many talented, committed people who work in this industry every day," Biden wrote in an opinion column published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
"But like many Americans, I'm concerned about how some in the industry collect, share and exploit our most personal data, deepen extremism and polarization in our country, tilt our economy's playing field, violate the civil rights of women and minorities, and even put our children at risk."
The column comes as House Republicans are planning to launch a new subcommittee this week to investigate communications between the Biden administration and Big Tech companies, and search for signs of pressure leading to conservative censorship online. Twitter owner Elon Musk's recently release of files that renewed scrutiny of the platform's content moderation decisions under its previous ownership.
"We have a duty to get into these agencies and look at how they have been weaponized to go against the very people they are supposed to represent, how they have infringed on First Amendment liberties of the American people. And we’re going to do that," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday."
"We’re going to do it in a way that’s consistent with the Constitution, but we’re going to do it vigorously; we’re going to do it aggressively, because that’s our job."
Biden in the opinion column reiterated his three broad principles for Big Tech reform, including serious federal protections for Americans’ privacy, and said his administration has been "hard at work putting these principles into practice."
"But our existing authority has limits," he added.
"We need bipartisan action from Congress to hold Big Tech accountable. We’ve heard a lot of talk about creating committees," the president wrote. "It’s time to walk the walk and get something done.
"There will be many policy issues we disagree on in the new Congress, but bipartisan proposals to protect our privacy and our children; to prevent discrimination, sexual exploitation, and cyberstalking; and to tackle anticompetitive conduct shouldn’t separate us."
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