Adam Candeub, who led President Trump’s efforts to reinterpret Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), Big Tech’s “get-out-jail-free card” in censorship lawsuits, warned the House Judiciary Committee that some bipartisan antitrust efforts could empower the federal government and Silicon Valley’s axis of censorship.
The Twitter Files, together with lawsuits filed by red states, reveal the federal government’s deep involvement in fostering social media censorship. In his remarks before the Judiciary Committee, Candeub warned against giving the federal government more power to pressure tech companies. Sundar Pichai CEO of Google ( Carsten Koall /Getty) In comments before the committee this week, Candeub took particular aim at the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), saying it would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) a “very big stick” to wield against the tech companies. “As the Twitter files reveal, government’s power over Big Tech can have bad effects on free speech. In today’s information economy a few platforms have enormous power over public and private conversation, professional journalism and citizen debate and engagement,” said Candeub. “As we have seen, government can too easily apply pressure to have the platforms silence speech it doesn’t like.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, with its vague terms and discretionary and exclusive governmental enforcement, simply adds to the available pressure government can employ on the major internet platforms to silence government’s critics.” Adam Kovacevich, the former Google public policy stooge who now uses his clout with Democrats to oppose tech regulation, misrepresented Candeub’s comments as an argument that AICOA will reduce the potential for platform censorship. Candeub *mocks* content moderation's focus on "lawful but awful" content, says AICOA "adds to govt pressure on platforms" not to moderate content. Democrats, this tells you all you need to know about AICOA. pic.twitter.com/yqSwPFgt7B — Adam Kovacevich (@adamkovac) March 7, 2023 Candeub confirmed that Kovacevich twisted his words, telling Breitbart News that Kovacevich’s characterization of his comments were the “exact opposite” of his actual argument on AICOA. Not all efforts to rein in Big Tech rest on handing power to the federal government. Candeub has praised a law from the state of Texas, passed in 2021, which uses the courts as a mechanism of enforcement against Big Tech censorship.
The bill grants a private right of action to social media users, allowing them to sue tech companies for wrongfully terminating their accounts or otherwise censoring them. Big Tech’s lobbyists are fighting to kill the bill in the courts. Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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