Lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, who has filed a class action lawsuit against Google on behalf of fired employee James Damore, appeared on SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Tuesday, to discuss government regulation of tech giants with Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
During the segment, Dhillon discussed PragerU’s lawsuit against YouTube, and warned conservatives against calling for the nationalization of successful private companies, claiming it could have unintended consequences.
“They made the relatively novel argument that because Google is so ubiquitous and specifically YouTube is the sort of go-to forum for hosting videos on the internet, that it’s the equivalent of public property, like standing outside the post office, or the town square, and so any effort at censorship in that area that is government property, or regulated by the public, is the equivalent of First Amendment censorship,” declared Dhillon. “Now the problem with that theory in my opinion as a First Amendment lawyer who has been doing this for 25 years is that what you’re really saying is that a successful private company is converted into public property and regulated by the government because it is so successful and ubiquitous. And I think that’s an argument conservatives need to think carefully about. Do we really want every private company that’s successful and that has a lot of market share to be called public property for the purposes of regulation and subject to all the regulations that occur, not just the First Amendment but a bunch of other regulations. I think that’s a big question mark.”
Dhillon instead argued that the public should hold companies accountable by filing lawsuits for false advertising and breach of contract, and empowering government regulatory agencies, namely the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to do their jobs properly in the digital age.
As one example of tech monopoly, Dhillon noted the fact that most digital news outlets, which have almost entirely replaced print news, now rely on a few platforms such as Facebook and Google to distribute their news.
“We have government agencies whose job it is to protect consumers and to protect the public from false communication and from fraudulent business conduct, so there are two entities that already exist: The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission,” proclaimed Dhillon. “I think it is appropriate for Congress to give the FCC more authority to regulate. So that’s one thing that could be done.”
Dhillon also claimed it is a “great time to be a tech lobbyist” in today’s environment.
“Right now there is a feeding frenzy on Capitol Hill… It’s a great time to be a tech lobbyist, because those companies in the wake of the last couple of weeks of mass privacy disclosure violations, are rushing to hire lobbyists who will then go and spread the money around,” she claimed. “Members of Congress are going to hold hearings, and then nothing happens.”