On Wednesday, the “Internet Accountability Project,” a nonprofit taking aim at the “bad acts” of Big Tech, officially launched.
“Our Mission,” the organization’s site reads, “is to lend a conservative voice to the calls for federal and state governments to rein in Big Tech before it is too late.”
With rising anxieties about tech industry giants like Google and Facebook violating privacy standards and engaging in documented cases of bias against conservatives, the nonprofit seeks to hold such companies accountable.
“We are conservatives who are alarmed by the role Big Tech plays in our society. We are concerned by the political and economic harms Big Tech platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon are inflicting on Americans,” IAP says. “These harms include negative content, conservative bias, privacy violations, anticompetitive conduct, and employee abuses. We formed Internet Accountability Project in order to speak out against Big Tech before it is too late.”
The advocacy group is headed by heavy-hitting conservative players Mike Davis and Rachel Bovard. Leading the charge, Davis, as previously outlined by The Daily Wire, is the founder of judicial advocacy group A3P; he clerked for Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court and recently served as chief nominations counsel to former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) during the bitter confirmation hearings of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Bovard, who serves as IAP’s senior advisor, is no slouch, either. The 35-year-old already has over a decade of experience fighting for conservative policy in Washington under her belt. She was named one of National Journal’s Most Influential Women in Washington under 35 in 2013 and has served in both the House and Senate in various roles, including legislative director for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
“We just launched the Internet Accountability Project today, and we are blown away by the overwhelming support we are receiving, especially among conservatives,” Davis told The Daily Wire on Wednesday. “We represent hardworking Americans who are fed up with the Big Tech bullies — like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter — and their ‘bad acts,’ including profiting from human-sex trafficking, revenge-porn, the opioid epidemic and drug addiction, terrorism, and other forms of human misery, along with engaging in egregious business practices like snooping, spying, political bias against conservatives, employee abuses, and anticompetitive conduct.”
In a press release sent to The Daily Wire, Davis further blasted Big Tech. “Enough is enough,” he said. “It’s time to re-boot Big Tech, upgrade and reformat the sweetheart laws that protect them, and enforce the antitrust, consumer-and employee-protection, and similar laws already on the books.”
“We are pleased that 50 state attorneys general, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, have taken the bold and courageous steps of investigating Big Tech’s ‘bad acts,’ and we will support other government officials in their efforts to investigate and hold Big Tech accountable,” he added.
Bovard stressed to The Daily Wire that there must be accountability, and soon.
“When it comes to Big Tech, we are currently dealing with huge and unaccountable corporations, awash in billions of dollars, who own the private data of hundreds of millions of Americans, and control our cultural and political conversation in unprecedented ways,” she said. “Our public policy has simply not kept pace with where we now find ourselves. The ability to have an honest conversation about what Big Tech is doing to our cultural development, our ability to engage with one another, as well as its impact on the next generation, is well within the domain of policy makers. We are excited to work toward facilitating this necessary conversation.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Bovard emphasized that it’s “critical to protect innovation and ingenuity in the tech space, but to do so mindfully.”
“Big Tech should not be allowed to become the arbiters of communication in America without input from citizens and policy makers,” the statement reads. “It is important for those on the Right to begin discussing whether our public policy has kept pace with Big Tech, who now owns our data, much of our privacy, and in many cases, is pulling the levers of our political communication. IAP is here to help facilitate that conversation.”
In June, President Donald Trump accused social media giants like Google and Twitter of attempting to “rig” the 2016 presidential election and suggested the companies be sued.
“I tell you what, they should be sued, because what’s happening with the bias — and now you see it, with that executive yesterday from Google, the hatred for the Republicans. It’s not even like, ‘Gee, let’s lean Democrat.’ The hatred! And actually, you know, I heard that all during my election. It’s hard that I won. They were swamping us with negative stuff,” the president posted to Twitter.
As reported by The Daily Wire, Attorney General William Barr spearheaded probing efforts into such big tech platforms for potential antitrust violations about a month later.
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands. The department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues,” Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said at the time.
According to a press release from the IAP, initial conservative partners active in the group’s fight against Big Tech include Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), Human Events, and Publius Lex, which is led by attorney Harmeet Dhillon. “IAP’s team also includes top surrogates who have served in the White House, Justice Department, Congress, and conservative movement,” the release noted.