Critics are claiming that the Biden administration is in bed with Big Tech executives which could explain the president’s less-than-enthusiastic pursuit of anti-trust legislation and the fact that bigwigs like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook effectively have a “staff badge” for the West Wing.
According to the Daily Mail, an analysis of White House visitor logs between July 2021 and September 2022 shows that Big Tech senior executives visited the president’s abode at least 38 times. That’s an average of 2.5 meetings per month.
Cook, for example, visited the White House five times during that time period. Apple sent their executives a total of 16 times. Google and its parent company Alphabet sent CEO Sundar Pichai and other high-level executives a total of nine times. Facebook and parent company Meta visited the White House seven times.
“The Biden Administration has essentially given Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon a staff badge,” one unnamed former Republican House Judiciary aide told the Daily Mail in an interview. “Instead of taking on Big Tech, they’ve allowed Big Tech to infiltrate the White House whenever they please.”
Biden has previously vowed to break up Big Tech monopolies and to end Section 230. But he has failed to take any substantive action to do so.
Insiders told the Daily Mail they find it curious that Big Tech executives would meet so frequently with the Biden administration and wondered exactly what they had confabs about.
“The White House did very little to push Congress to move forward tech legislation anti-trust legislation, in 2021, and 2022,” one former unnamed Democratic congressional aide also told the Daily Mail in an interview.
“They had all those meetings with Big Tech executives, but the real question is, how much were those executives successful in their private lobbying, in getting the White House not to escalate that fight?” the source asked.
“The idea that this revolving door of tech lobbyists and executives are allowed to have access to officials who allegedly are working on reining in Big Tech who are allegedly going after some of the most egregious behavior, it’s really problematic,” another former Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill noted to the Daily Mail.
Despite controlling the previous Congress, Democrats failed to pass the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act, both of which would have ostensibly prevented tech companies from self-promoting their own products and thwarting competition.
“You clearly have some gatekeepers in the White House in the administration, who are preventing Biden’s priorities as insofar as tech from moving forward,” claimed the staffer. “Whenever Big Tech gets scared, they walk into the White House, they meet with their friendly official and that gatekeeper says don’t worry about it.'”
In January this year, Biden wrote an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal calling for Congress to pass legislation to rein in Big Tech.
According to the Daily Mail, “He first called for privacy protections that limit data collection and ban targeted advertising for kids and called for reform of Section 230 – which grants social media platforms immunity for what users post on their sites while preserving their ability to moderate content.”
It’s time to hold Big Tech accountable. @POTUS is calling on Congress to pass legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on children, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose strong limits on the personal data these companies collect on all Americans.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 8, 2023
“When tech platforms get big enough, many find ways to promote their own products while excluding or disadvantaging competitors — or charge competitors a fortune to sell on their platform,” Biden wrote.
Biden utilized a line he used in both his first and second State of the Union addresses, “We must hold social-media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.”
“Ban targeted advertising to children and impose stricter limits on the personal data the companies collect on all of us,” Biden urged in his State of the Union Tuesday night.
“The idea that he’s saying all of this during State of the Union and will again be talking about the dangers of Big Tech while officials in his own White House are allowing tech like Big Tech companies to just as effectively have open door access is pretty egregious,” an ex-Democratic congressional aide told the Daily Mail.
Republicans who now control the House of Representatives are going after Big Tech censorship and anti-conservative bias.
Both Democrats and Republicans want to revamp Section 230 for different reasons. Democrats want to go after what they call “misinformation” on issues such as elections and the pandemic. Republicans want to make sure that Big Tech companies don’t censor opinions that involve viewpoints that take a stance against issues such as mandating vaccinations and elections being rigged.
#TwitterFiles uncovered that Biden Admin officials colluded with Big Tech companies to silence differing opinions during the pandemic. I gave the CDC a chance to explain how & why it participated in labeling free speech as “misinformation”
My questions went unanswered.⬇️ pic.twitter.com/H4F6nlsC0s
— Rep. Diana Harshbarger (@RepHarshbarger) February 8, 2023
“We need Big Tech companies to take responsibility for the content they spread and the algorithms they use,” Biden wrote in his op-ed. “That’s why I’ve long said we must fundamentally reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from legal responsibility for content posted on their sites.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office asserts that Biden isn’t addressing the real issue.
“House Republicans will confront Big Tech’s abuses because the truth should not be censored,” McCarthy deputy spokesperson Chad Gilmartin proclaimed in a press release. “Americans should not be blocked or banned for sharing a link to a news article. But that’s exactly what Big Tech has done, which Biden wants to ignore.”
Incoming Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan wrote a letter on December 14 to five of the largest tech companies demanding they hand over correspondence between their companies and Biden administration officials.
“Although the full extent of Big Tech’s collusion with the Biden administration is unknown, there are prominent examples and strong indications of Big Tech censorship following directives or pressure from executive branch entities,” Jordan noted. “Because of Big Tech’s wide reach, it can serve as a powerful and effective partisan arm of the ‘woke speech police.'”
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