Public Knowledge Urges Biden Administration, Congress To Take Action on Tech Agenda

President Biden calls for both parties to work together to regulate the technology sector.

Tonight, President Joe Biden delivered his 2023 State of the Union address, urging both parties to work together to regulate the technology sector.

The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, President and CEO of Public Knowledge:

“President Biden laid out a vision tonight for technology and technology policy that is about key public interest values of innovation, competition, accountability, and equity. But as the President noted, it is time for action on this vision by passing legislation that protects these values.

“Taking action means seeing bipartisan infrastructure law implemented with the diligence and oversight that attacks all drivers of the digital divide. As the President repeated tonight, this means ‘finishing the job’ by ensuring that we have a long-term, sustainable plan to address broadband access, affordability, and adoption. Congress must expedite work in the broadband space by finally seating a full five-member FCC after two years without a fully staffed Commission. 

“Taking action means supporting the FTC and the administration’s action against noncompete clauses that impact the tech sector as much as other sectors. It also means addressing the exorbitant additional fees charged by dominant companies like Ticketmaster and the uncompetitive broadband market.

“The President repeated his important warning from when he signed his Executive Order on competition policy in 2021, “capitalism without competition is exploitation”. Taking action means increasing accountability for digital platforms through strong antitrust laws to prevent dominant platforms from discriminating against smaller competitors on their own platforms, as well as passing a comprehensive online privacy law. Bipartisan antitrust and privacy proposals were introduced in the last Congress, but this Congress needs to finish the job by bringing these bills to a vote. Finally, taking action means moving beyond these initial bills for tech accountability to establish an expert regulator for digital platforms. Only an expert agency can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in AI algorithms and other emerging technologies to ensure protections keep up with the pace of innovation. 

“We stand ready to work with Congress and the President to achieve this vision on technology in our society so that innovation can continue to grow but in a direction that carefully balances and preserves commonsense public interest values.”

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