On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had a 40-minute phone conversation with Apple chief executive Tim Cook about pending antitrust legislation.
According to CNBC, the Senate Judiciary Committee — of which Cruz is a member — will discuss bipartisan legislation such as the Open App Markets Act and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act at the end of this week. Both bills are meant to curb technology companies’ abilities to give preference to their own services on platforms that they created.
Cruz said that Cook “expressed significant concerns” during their phone call — specifically with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.
“One issue that he raised, that I thought was a reasonable issue, was a concern that the bill would erect obstacles to Apple giving consumers the ability to opt out of apps monitoring what they’re doing online, where they’re going, and what’s occurring on their phone,” Cruz said, as reported by CNBC. “I want to clarify for the record that I don’t read the language of this bill as applying to or as being intended to apply to tech companies giving consumers the ability to to exercise choice or to opt out of privacy-invasive policies.”
Cruz is driven by a desire to ensure that online platforms do not censor debate — an objective shared by many other Republican officials. Last month, for example, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) called technology conglomerates “the censorship arm of the Democratic Party and political Left, silencing and de-platforming anyone who rejects the chosen left-wing narrative.”
“Silicon Valley oligarchs shouldn’t be the arbiters of free speech in our country. We must fight back!” he added.
More recently, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) published an opinion piece announcing that he would begin an exodus from “Big Tech” — beginning with YouTube.
“Everyone complains about Big Tech. The Left says Big Tech doesn’t censor enough. The right complains that Big Tech censors too much already,” Paul said. “Many in Congress, on the Left and the Right, want to break up or regulate Big Tech, but few of these loud voices have actually stepped up and quit using Big Tech.”
Paul slammed YouTube for deleting videos — including those he said included substantiated claims about the efficacy of cloth masks.
“A hallmark of the scientific method is to challenge and disprove a hypothesis,” Paul argued. “Yet we have abandoned science and rational debate for an almost religious adherence to the edicts of government bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci. To challenge the data is to be a ‘denier’ or ‘conspiracist’ who must be silenced.”
“An entire generation of young people, who use these platforms exclusively for their news, will never read or hear of opinions or ideas that challenge the Big Government / Big Tech orthodoxy,” Dr. Paul wrote later. “If they do happen to see, for example, an article claiming that the coronavirus could have originated with a lab leak in Wuhan, it is quickly condemned as ‘debunked’ or a ‘conspiracy’ by the invisible, all-knowing ‘fact-checkers’ employed by Big Tech. Until of course, it isn’t — but by then, it’s too late, public attention has moved on, the damage done.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.