There is no Bipartisan Consensus on Big Tech


Finally, we have arrived bipartisan consensus on Big Tech, yes everyone! At least that’s the press line is Echoing ad nauseum. “Facebook Whistleblower Signs Bipartisan Support for Curbing Big Tech,” the Financial Period The trumpet sounded last week after Senator Frances Haugen testified on Facebook. “Lawmakers Send Big Tech a Bipartisan Antitrust Message,” Newsweek wrote a day later. For more than a year, but especially after last week’s U.S. Senate hearing, the media has increasingly suggested that Democrats and Republicans have put aside their long -standing disagreement over tech policy.

But beyond their winning news headlines, most of these articles mark (always reasonable) that “consensus” is just an opinion others class regulation for Big Tech is required. Here the idea of ​​“bipartisan consensus” breaks down, and where the danger of this expression lies.

It’s true that over the past few years American lawmakers have become increasingly talkative about Silicon Valley technology giants, their products and services, and their market practices. Even though that’s just agreeable something should be done, and that alone, almost superficially as obtained by the two consensus. Elected representatives of the same party still have disagreements about what that thing is, why something should happen, and what problems come first. All of these factors shape both the proposed Congressional regulations and the way forward to implement them.

In addition to this, the media that separates national politics from the tech legislative process only threatens to repeat the problems of the past several decades, where imagining non -political technology can help managers and society ignore dangers before them. The weight of much of the rhetorical analysis of the difficult road forward to real, essential regulation – and how few threats to democracy (and democratic tech law) come from within.

For decades, liberal democracies from the United States to France to Australia continue to tout the internet as a free, safe, and strong golden child of democracy. U.S. leaders in particular, from Bill Clinton Speaking of Jell-O-to-a-wall in 2000 by the so -called State Department internet freedom agenda in 2010, praised the power of the web to overthrow authoritarianism around the world. No, this logic alone, democratic governments can make the internet as pro-democratic as possible.

The groundswell of calls to take control of Big Tech today is little change. While it is tempting to see this shift as unilateral, some parts of the media have often forgotten that tech is not a monolith and many different incidents have led to many different calls for regulation: Equifax data breach, the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, Russian ransomware ATTACKS, Covid misinformation, disinformation campaigns target Black voters, using racist and sexist algorithms, abused by the police in surveillance technology, and on and on. Not all legislators care equally, or at all, about these issues.

Data breaches and ransomware seem to be the two areas with the most potential for consensus legislation; Members of Congress will never stand up to claim their faith in lowering the cybersecurity bar and making their constituents vulnerable to attacks. Earlier this year, after several, malicious ransomware attacks launched from inside Russia, members of Similarly parties condemned the behavior and showed how Congress and the White House responded by allowing Russian actors and investing more in home security. Made the House and Senate ransomware hearings in July, building on important work in civil society to drive bipartisan responses to the threat.



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