Rep. Greg Walden: Regulation Coming if Big Tech Is Not Responsible

Rep. Greg Walden (R), R-OR, head of the Republican's transition team, speaks December 2, 2010 during a press conference as Rep. Rob Bishop (L), R-UT, looks on in the House Visitor's Center Studio of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) argued at an Axios event on Wednesday that regulation will come for big tech companies if they are not responsible.

“I’m not looking for a lot of regulation, I’m looking for responsibility,” Walden suggested. “If responsibility doesn’t flow, then regulation will.”

Walden chairs the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which regulates technology issues.

A new Axios poll released on Wednesday revealed that a 55 percent Americans remain concerned that the governor will not do enough to regulate how Silicon Valley companies operate.

The poll also suggested that 45 percent of Republicans argue that the government has not gone far enough to regulate tech companies, 64 percent of Democrats agree with this notion, and 57 percent of Independents agree with this idea as well.

Fifty-five percent of Americans also believe that social media also does more to hurt democracy and free speech than it helps.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari argued that under net neutrality content providers such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter have censored the internet, stifled conservative and alternative voices, and serve as a greater threat to free speech compared to ISPs.

Pai charged in a recent speech that Facebook, Twitter, and Google serve as a greater threat to free speech and an open internet.

“I love Twitter, and I use it all the time,” said Pai. “But let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that content providers serve as a greater threat to free speech compared to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Facebook and Google.

Blackburn told Breitbart News:

Content providers are discriminating and censoring. Even I have been censored. These companies are fighting against a free and open Internet, they’re fighting for government regulation. These are the companies that are censoring the internet service providers, they’re saying ‘we’re working on the edge, don’t regulate us and let us tend to whatever we want to do.’ That’s why conservative groups have blocked on Facebook and YouTube. That’s why I was blocked on Twitter for presenting a pro-life message. That’s why the president’s Twitter account was taken down for a number of hours. That’s why Chairman Pai’s video was blocked. Their version of net neutrality is censoring free speech.

“These companies want to control what you think, what you read, prioritization – look at how Google prioritizes search,” Blackburn charged.


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