Key Republican warns Big Tech: Step up or be regulated
The chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an attack on the market power of large tech companies Wednesday. "I’m not looking for a lot of regulation, I’m looking for responsibility," Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said at an Axios event. "If responsibility doesn’t flow, then regulation will."
Why it matters: Walden leads the House committee tasked with overseeing technology issues.
Walden raised multiple areas for possible regulation:
- Liability for online platforms, which the House addressed Tuesday by passing a bill that allows victims of sex trafficking to sue web platforms that knowingly facilitated the crime
- Digital political advertisements of the sort that Russian operatives bought during the 2016 election
- Privacy as it related to the massive tranches of data collected by online platforms
- Net neutrality, which Walden suggested could be applied to platforms as well as telecom companies
Our thought bubble: While Walden was cautious in announcing any specific action, this is striking talk coming from a pro-industry Republican with close ties to House leadership.