Top Biden adviser may seek to curb Big Tech’s power

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Likely future cabinet member is an opponent of statutory immunity for Internet tech companies.

It looks like President-elect Joe Biden is going to tap Bruce Reed to be one of his top advisors. Reed is a long-time Washington insider who has been in Biden’s orbit for a decade or more. He is also a harsh critic of Big Tech and the power that those companies hold over the Internet.

Both Biden and Reed have been critical of companies like Facebook and Twitter for some time. They have spent the past 4 years condemning social media companies for allowing the Russians to “meddle” in US politics.

Biden has also joined his fellow Democrats in blasting Facebook and Twitter for allowing the Trump and his allies to post “misinformation” on their platforms.

Reed’s history of regulation

Reed, 60, became involved in creating California’s privacy campaign in his capacity as a strategist for Common Sense Media. He had a key role in talks with the tech industry and legislators on behalf of backers of a ballot initiative that led to the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act.

Industry watchers fear that Reed may use his new position to leverage that law into a national privacy law.

Abolishing Section 230?

Big Tech has been voluntarily trying to be more “responsible” in policing the content that appears on their platforms. However, many lawmakers believe that the US should end the legal protections that have sheltered them from liability and lawsuits. Biden is one of them.

The federal law, known as Section 230, effectively protects Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter from lawsuits for hosting or removing harmful or misleading content.

Reed has also co-authored a chapter in the book, “Which Side of History? How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives.” In it, they asserted that 230 was an enemy of children.

Reed could be a huge advocate for pushing Congress, on behalf of the new President, to abolish these protections.

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