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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers outlined a plan for fellow Republicans to hammer Big Tech companies in a memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The "Big Tech Accountability Platform” serves as both a rallying cry for Republicans in the minority and an outline for some policy changes that could win bipartisan support.

Details: McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, suggests working with Democrats on an agreement to sunset or establish a reauthorization date for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a liability shield for online content posted by website users, as a legislative starting point.

  • Other ideas include revisiting platforms' October 2020 decision to limit the reach of a questionably sourced New York Post story on Hunter Biden, a nonstarter with Democrats.
  • But some closely mirror calls Democrats have made, such as exploring the power e-commerce giants exert in online marketplaces and pushing tech platforms to be more transparent and potentially legally answerable when it comes to moderation decisions.

What they're saying: "To be clear, we will not pursue government regulation of speech, but it’s a dereliction of our duty to our constituents to do nothing" McMorris Rodgers wrote in the memo, which was circulated to Republicans on the committee.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Podcasts

Rep. Ro Khanna on top tech priorities, including Robinhood and Section 230

Big Tech is something all Americans use and most Americans complain about, no matter their political affiliation.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the Biden administration's top Big Tech priorities, plus discussion of Section 230 and Reddit day trading with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.