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Big Tech

Should Conservatives Be For or Against Big Tech? A Question Raised at CES 2021

Derek Shumway

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Photo of Rachel Bovard from The Epoch Times

January 14, 2021 – Big tech companies like Google literally control the flow of information, with significant significant network effects, said Rachel Bovard, a self-described conservative invited to speak at a panel on “What to do about Big Tech” at CES 2021.

Speaking at the Consumer Technology Association’s big tech show on Wednesday, Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, said that these companies need need to be circumscribed.

She echoed the view of populist critics of big tech by highlighting their influence on freedom of speech. She claimed Democrats want to ban speech with which they don’t agree, while Republicans believe in countering bad speech with more speech.

Bovard was joined on the panel by Robert Atkinson, president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Both said they were opposed to heavy-handed government regulation. They also said that they felt lawmakers lacked curiosity about the high-tech marketplace.

Bovard says that current antitrust laws are well equipped to handle technology, and that government should not simply punish companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon.

However, Bovard also expressed concern about Facebook’s February 2014 acquisition of What’s App, which has been in the news again as the Federal Trade Commission last month sued Facebook to unwind an acquisition that it has previously approved.

Atkinson, by contrast, highlighted the many features available in What’s App after merging with Facebook. Acquisitions can produce better developed products and cost consumers less or even nothing, especially since WhatsApp is now free to use.

Moderator Jamie Susskind of CTA, Rachel Bovard and Robert Atkinson

While Atkinson conceded that there have been missteps that have eroded public trust, including Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, he believes this is normal. In fact, he downplayed the cons of big business.

Oil, steel, and automotive companies in America’s past have gone through the the phase tech companies are going through right now, he said. Whatever big companies or industries are thriving at the moment naturally gets the most scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that bigness is not a virtue.

America is the world’s largest and wealthiest country in the new world because it produced big firms, said Atkinson.

Bovard also raised many privacy issues with big tech, and questioned whether they were fit to handle such acquisitions. She cited WhatsApp’s mishandling of encrypted data to Facebook after its acquisition.

Free Speech

Traditional Media Must Take Unilateral Action On Disinformation, Says Journalist Soledad O’Brien

Samuel Triginelli

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on

Photo of Soledad O'Brien by Noam Galai from May 2016 used with permission

January 14, 2021 – Big tech companies like Google literally control the flow of information, with significant significant network effects, said Rachel Bovard, a self-described conservative invited to speak at a panel on “What to do about Big Tech” at CES 2021.

Speaking at the Consumer Technology Association’s big tech show on Wednesday, Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, said that these companies need need to be circumscribed.

She echoed the view of populist critics of big tech by highlighting their influence on freedom of speech. She claimed Democrats want to ban speech with which they don’t agree, while Republicans believe in countering bad speech with more speech.

Bovard was joined on the panel by Robert Atkinson, president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Both said they were opposed to heavy-handed government regulation. They also said that they felt lawmakers lacked curiosity about the high-tech marketplace.

Bovard says that current antitrust laws are well equipped to handle technology, and that government should not simply punish companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon.

However, Bovard also expressed concern about Facebook’s February 2014 acquisition of What’s App, which has been in the news again as the Federal Trade Commission last month sued Facebook to unwind an acquisition that it has previously approved.

Atkinson, by contrast, highlighted the many features available in What’s App after merging with Facebook. Acquisitions can produce better developed products and cost consumers less or even nothing, especially since WhatsApp is now free to use.

Moderator Jamie Susskind of CTA, Rachel Bovard and Robert Atkinson

While Atkinson conceded that there have been missteps that have eroded public trust, including Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, he believes this is normal. In fact, he downplayed the cons of big business.

Oil, steel, and automotive companies in America’s past have gone through the the phase tech companies are going through right now, he said. Whatever big companies or industries are thriving at the moment naturally gets the most scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that bigness is not a virtue.

America is the world’s largest and wealthiest country in the new world because it produced big firms, said Atkinson.

Bovard also raised many privacy issues with big tech, and questioned whether they were fit to handle such acquisitions. She cited WhatsApp’s mishandling of encrypted data to Facebook after its acquisition.

Continue Reading

Media Ownership

Pandemic Isn’t Death Knell Of Theaters, Says Lionsgate Vice Chairman

Derek Shumway

Published

on

Screenshot from the webinar

January 14, 2021 – Big tech companies like Google literally control the flow of information, with significant significant network effects, said Rachel Bovard, a self-described conservative invited to speak at a panel on “What to do about Big Tech” at CES 2021.

Speaking at the Consumer Technology Association’s big tech show on Wednesday, Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, said that these companies need need to be circumscribed.

She echoed the view of populist critics of big tech by highlighting their influence on freedom of speech. She claimed Democrats want to ban speech with which they don’t agree, while Republicans believe in countering bad speech with more speech.

Bovard was joined on the panel by Robert Atkinson, president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Both said they were opposed to heavy-handed government regulation. They also said that they felt lawmakers lacked curiosity about the high-tech marketplace.

Bovard says that current antitrust laws are well equipped to handle technology, and that government should not simply punish companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon.

However, Bovard also expressed concern about Facebook’s February 2014 acquisition of What’s App, which has been in the news again as the Federal Trade Commission last month sued Facebook to unwind an acquisition that it has previously approved.

Atkinson, by contrast, highlighted the many features available in What’s App after merging with Facebook. Acquisitions can produce better developed products and cost consumers less or even nothing, especially since WhatsApp is now free to use.

Moderator Jamie Susskind of CTA, Rachel Bovard and Robert Atkinson

While Atkinson conceded that there have been missteps that have eroded public trust, including Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, he believes this is normal. In fact, he downplayed the cons of big business.

Oil, steel, and automotive companies in America’s past have gone through the the phase tech companies are going through right now, he said. Whatever big companies or industries are thriving at the moment naturally gets the most scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that bigness is not a virtue.

America is the world’s largest and wealthiest country in the new world because it produced big firms, said Atkinson.

Bovard also raised many privacy issues with big tech, and questioned whether they were fit to handle such acquisitions. She cited WhatsApp’s mishandling of encrypted data to Facebook after its acquisition.

Continue Reading

Free Speech

Conflicting Arguments on Internet Censorship at Research Session on Free Speech and Societal Harmony

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

Screenshot of Johannes Bauer, among those participating in the TPRC discussion on censorship

January 14, 2021 – Big tech companies like Google literally control the flow of information, with significant significant network effects, said Rachel Bovard, a self-described conservative invited to speak at a panel on “What to do about Big Tech” at CES 2021.

Speaking at the Consumer Technology Association’s big tech show on Wednesday, Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, said that these companies need need to be circumscribed.

She echoed the view of populist critics of big tech by highlighting their influence on freedom of speech. She claimed Democrats want to ban speech with which they don’t agree, while Republicans believe in countering bad speech with more speech.

Bovard was joined on the panel by Robert Atkinson, president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Both said they were opposed to heavy-handed government regulation. They also said that they felt lawmakers lacked curiosity about the high-tech marketplace.

Bovard says that current antitrust laws are well equipped to handle technology, and that government should not simply punish companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon.

However, Bovard also expressed concern about Facebook’s February 2014 acquisition of What’s App, which has been in the news again as the Federal Trade Commission last month sued Facebook to unwind an acquisition that it has previously approved.

Atkinson, by contrast, highlighted the many features available in What’s App after merging with Facebook. Acquisitions can produce better developed products and cost consumers less or even nothing, especially since WhatsApp is now free to use.

Moderator Jamie Susskind of CTA, Rachel Bovard and Robert Atkinson

While Atkinson conceded that there have been missteps that have eroded public trust, including Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, he believes this is normal. In fact, he downplayed the cons of big business.

Oil, steel, and automotive companies in America’s past have gone through the the phase tech companies are going through right now, he said. Whatever big companies or industries are thriving at the moment naturally gets the most scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that bigness is not a virtue.

America is the world’s largest and wealthiest country in the new world because it produced big firms, said Atkinson.

Bovard also raised many privacy issues with big tech, and questioned whether they were fit to handle such acquisitions. She cited WhatsApp’s mishandling of encrypted data to Facebook after its acquisition.

Continue Reading

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