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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.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker