Reuters reported this morning that the Department of Justice will propose legislation that would remove exemptions from anti-trust laws enjoyed by big tech firms like Google and Facebook, after Google was revealed yesterday to be engaging in very clear anti-trust behavior in its efforts to de-platform two conservative news sites.
From the Reuters piece:
The U.S. Justice Department will propose legislation as soon as Wednesday to try to remove protections that big tech platforms like Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook (FB.O) have had for decades, a department official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
President Donald Trump, who has battled Twitter (TWTR.N) and other tech companies over alleged censorship of conservative voices on social media platforms, said in late May he would propose legislation that may scrap or weaken the law shielding internet companies, in an extraordinary attempt to regulate the outlets where he has been criticized.
Trump wants to “remove or change” a provision of a law known as Section 230. Under the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Section 230 does not generally hold platforms responsible for what their users post and allows them to moderate the content of their sites as they see fit.
The Justice Department plans to make a legislative proposal that Congress would have to pass, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposal.
Ok, that’s great, and it’s nice to see William Barr getting off his butt and doing something about this. Too bad the same cannot be said about the useless GOP caucus in either house of congress.
I linked to this Tucker Carlson monologue in this morning’s News Roundup, but after watching it again and reading the transcript, it merits more attention.
This is a monologue everyone needs to see and digest, especially Carlson’s points about the utter lack of concern about the clearly monopolistic and aggressive restraint of trade behaviors in which Google and some of the other tech giants are engaging in their zeal to silence conservative points of view in our country.
Carlson focuses in particularly on Utah Sen. Mike Lee, the ex-libertarian, open borders-supporting senator who mainly represents the U.S. Chamber of Commerce these days. No one should be surprised that a wholly-owned subsidiary of big corporations like Lee – who sadly chairs the Senate Antitrust Committee – is a complete sellout on this issue, just as he is a complete sellout on border security. But what comes as a somewhat bigger surprise if you haven’t been paying attention is that Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, who is running for the Senate right now, has been every bit as inactive in his role as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, which would also have jurisdiction over this matter.
Below is the clip of the monologue, followed by a transcript of Carlson’s comments targeting Lee, Collins and other do-nothing congressional Republicans. On this as in so many other issues, you will see that the GOP congressional caucus remains utterly and completely worthless.
Tucker Carlson's Opening Monologue Calling Out The GOP For Doing Nothing About Google's Censorship
"If you're worried about the concentration of power in the hands of a few unaccountable actors, and you very much should be, nobody has more unchecked power than Google does." pic.twitter.com/gGKAkfrMU5
— The Columbia Bugle ?? (@ColumbiaBugle) June 17, 2020
All of this raises an interesting question, though. Google says it now holds conservative websites responsible for the comments of their readers. And yet, irony of ironies, thanks to a special carve-out Google has received from the United States Congress — something called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, remember that — Google itself is not responsible for content on its platform because the Congress says it doesn’t have to be.
So, if you’re slandered by someone, for example, and that slander passes through Google servers, you cannot sue Google over it. Google is immune from the consequences. Immunity is a very nice thing to have if you’re a big company. Fox News doesn’t have it.
But again, thanks to Congress, Google does have immunity, and that’s one of the main reasons that Google’s founders are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Because Congress allowed them to be.
Sen. Josh Hawley has pointed this out. Let’s hope he and his colleagues act soon to revoke this privilege. If Google will not extend 230 protections to others, Google should not enjoy those protections itself, obviously.
Google should have faced these consequences a long time ago. Congress should have done this years ago. It’s been clear for a very long time that the Big Tech monopolies have now surpassed the federal government as the chief threat to our liberties.
Tucker Carlson, 2017: Google is the most powerful company in the history of the world. It’s the portal through which the bulk of our information flows. That means that if Google isn’t on the level, neither is our understanding of the world. To an unprecedented extent, Google controls reality.
Now, Google has already shown a disturbing willingness to distort reality for ideological ends.
And now it is happening. Google is acting directly to shape what people can say and what they’re allowed to speak. It’s a direct effort to stifle free speech. All of that is even truer today.
So why hasn’t the Congress done anything about this? Well, we’d love to ask Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. We invited him on the show. He would not come. We’ve invited him before, he would not come then.
Why do we ask him? Because Lee chairs the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. He is the man who could do something to protect you from Google, but Lee has not bothered to do that. Instead, Mike Lee repeatedly has taken the side of the Big Tech companies over your constitutional rights — the constitutional rights Mike Lee is sworn to uphold and protect but refuses to.
So, the question is, why is Mike Lee still sitting in the United States Senate? He should not be in the Senate, that is for sure. We are hoping Mike Lee is soundly defeated in his next primary by someone who cares about the Constitution and more to the point, about protecting Americans from the actual threats they face. We are fervently rooting for that day. We will celebrate it when it happens. We trust it will.
So, how about House Republicans? Well, this spring, Congressman Doug Collins, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Jim Sensenbrenner, the ranking member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, released a letter defending Google and the other tech monopolies from scrutiny. They attacked any investigation of the tech companies that might have “preconceived conclusions that large tech companies are inherently bad or must be broken up.”
They actually wrote that. Who is paying these guys? And more to the point, whose side are they on? Again, let us hope for a vigorous primary challenge to these two and any who share this view.
Year in and year out, we vote for these people in the fervent hope they will stand up for us when it matters. Now it matters. And now, like every time before, they sell us out.
Time is up. Seriously, it is too much. The stakes are too high. We need better leadership. We need someone to protect us. Nobody is.
The apparent insanity involved here, of course, is that these supposedly “conservative” Republicans refuse to lift a finger to protect the constitutional rights of alternative media outlets that strive against the rank hostility from these social media giants and the mainstream news media to support the policies that the GOP supposedly hold dear.
The only logical assumption to make about that, given the facts on the ground, is that Republicans in congress really don’t care much about those policy positions at all. Thus, getting anything done will be left up entirely to President Trump and Attorney General Barr.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.