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Vice Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris, tapped Tuesday as Joe Biden's running mate, is not a "break up Big Tech" crusader. But should Democrats win in November and seek to go after Silicon Valley, she could bring prosecutorial rigor to the case.

Why it matters: The vice president doesn't normally run a president's tech agenda, but can still help set the tone on a wide range of issues for a presidential campaign and administration. Harris' familiarity with the firms in her backyard may give her an outsize role on tech policy.

The big picture: Harris came up through San Francisco politics and has many friends and allies in Silicon Valley, including among the Big Tech billionaire set.

  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted a photo of Harris on Instagram within minutes of Biden's announcement, cheering her selection as a "huge moment for Black women and girls all over the world."
  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and then-Yahoo and Apple executives Marissa Mayer and Jony Ive were among the big-name fundraisers for her 2014 bid for reelection as California attorney general, Recode's Teddy Schleifer noted on Twitter.

Yes, but: As both AG and as a senator, Harris has also turned the screws on Big Tech.

  • She pressured online platforms into action in a fight against revenge porn.
  • Harris backed the 2018 bill that chipped away at the tech industry's liability shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  • She told CNN she would "take a close look at" breaking up Facebook.
  • Pressing platforms on misinformation, foreign meddling and hate speech, she's made tech CEOs squirm on Capitol Hill.

Between the lines: Harris is unlikely to lead the charge on calling to rein in Big Tech, but if the Democratic party makes good on its threats to do so, she may well become a key figure on tech policy in a Biden White House.

What they’re saying: At least one tech trade group praised the Harris pick.

  • “TechNet has worked with Senator Harris since her days as California Attorney General, and we know her to be a person of great intellect, integrity, and ability who fights for those who need a strong voice for justice,” TechNet president and CEO Linda Moore said in a statement.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

37 mins ago - World

Israeli and Palestinian officials are speaking again

Isaac Herzog (L), then the leader of the opposition, meets with Mahmoud Abbas in 2015. Photo: Abbas MomaniI/AFP via Getty

Relations between the new Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have shifted substantially in recent weeks, with Israeli officials going so far as to call it “a renaissance."

Why it matters: During Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year tenure as prime minister, relations deteriorated to the point where there was almost no contact other than security coordination.

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.