President Biden will have his hands full in coming days as he wrestles with a slate of executive orders and an ongoing pandemic — but some of the most pressing questions concern Big Tech.
Here’s a breakdown of key issues, per CNET:
Facebook and are already facing antitrust action.
After suspending President Trump from their platforms following the storming of the US Capitol, big tech companies are under increased scrutiny. For his part, Biden seems to favor more regs than breakups.
In a speech on Tuesday, the Justice Department’s outgoing antitrust chief supported a House Democrats’ proposal to disallow any company with a 50% market share from making an acquisition in the same industry.
Both major US parties want changes to the decades-old Section 230, which provides tech companies with liability protection for content on their platforms.
It’s for different reasons, though:
- Democrats want the companies to moderate the platforms or be held liable
- Republicans want to penalize companies for censoring content
As a senator, Biden did not co-sponsor legislation related to net neutrality — the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally.
But CNET notes that the issue is popular among Democratic leaders, and going against it would defy a core principle of the party.
A key economic goal is to rebuild America’s middle class, a task Biden calls “the moral obligation of our time.” To achieve this goal, he supports a $20B investment in rural broadband.
China trade war
Biden will also have to decide what to do with executive orders on TikTok and bans on various Chinese apps.
Expect a more confrontational approach, especially after the outgoing administration just labeled China’s treatment of its Uighur population “genocide” (a position Biden agrees with).
Tech and immigration
Biden has “promised to increase the number of visas for ‘permanent, work-based immigration’ and eliminate limits on employment-based green cards by country.” As president, he can strike down many of Trump’s most restrictive executive orders.