Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican from the 4th Congressional District of Colorado, and Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) announced on Thursday the creation of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus.
According to a press Release by Buck, big tech companies “rig the free market, crush competitors, stifle innovation, draw closer to China, and censor Americans.” Big tech companies are operating in an “America last” mindset that has hurt consumers and small businesses across the country while benefiting China and strengthening their gatekeeper power. “
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The press release says the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus will promote competition and innovation, restore the free digital economy, protect children from harmful online content, protect online privacy and data, end the political censorship and thwart Big Tech’s “court” towards the Chinese. Communist Party.
Buck is the leading member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, which published a 450-page article report last year on its Big Tech investigation. The report declared that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had abused their power as monopolies, and he recommended changes to current antitrust laws. Representative Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, is also a member of the committee. Despite different political affiliations, Neguse and Buck have found common ground when it comes to Big Tech: Both representatives believe Congress must take action to limit the power of Big Tech.
Last month, the House Judiciary Committee approved “A Stronger Online Economy: Opportunity, Innovation and Choice,” a package of bills aimed at reducing the power of Big Tech. According to The Washington Post, a bill would prevent tech giants from buying growing competitors, a bill would prohibit large tech companies from giving preference to their own products over the products or services of competing companies, and a bill would make it easier for consumers to use the products of different technology companies together. Buck was an original co-sponsor on all bills in the package.
Democratic representatives are primarily concerned about the market power of Big Tech companies, while many Republican representatives are concerned about what they perceive to be anti-conservative bias in Big Tech.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) criticized the Big Tech package, saying the bills won’t do enough to stop Big Tech from censoring conservative voices. In an opinion piece, Jordan wrote, “Make no mistake, Big Tech is trying to get conservatives and needs to be brought under control. But these bills do nothing to combat anti-conservative biases and Big Tech censorship. These Democratic bills will only make matters worse. If you think Big Tech is bad now, wait until Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are colluding with Big Government.
During the debate on these bills, Buck appeared to attempt to appeal directly to Republicans such as Jordan, declaring, “These bills are conservative,” in his opening statement.
Buck also shares Jordan’s belief that Big Tech is censoring conservative voices. On June 2, Buck tweeted that “Facebook censors conservative voices, but they allow Communist China to mock and disseminate genocidal propaganda,” in connection with an article from the Media Research Center, a conservative content analysis group that described himself as “a liberal media watchdog”.
It’s unclear when the bills will go to a full vote in the House of Representatives, according to to Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House Majority Leader and responsible for scheduling House votes.
Gooden, who will serve as the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus co-chair, said the caucus will help prevent what he sees as the exclusion of conservative views. “Big Tech has complete control over the digital public square, ensuring that Americans only see news and information that matches their narrative, which often excludes conservative views,” Gooden said.
Representative Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.), who is vice-chair of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus, said in a declaration Friday: “For too long, Big-Tech has abused its powers and targeted the constitutional rights of American citizens. The high-tech oligarchs, who silence freedom-loving patriots, have no place in the land of the free. In America, we must always place constitutional values on authoritarian control. “
Other members of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus include Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona).
Big Tech generally refers to big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Some Big Tech definitions also include Microsoft, but the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee’s Investigation Report on Digital Markets Competition focused on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.