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Biden Urges Congress To Pass Bipartisan Tech Legislation

 |  January 11, 2023

President Joe Biden called on members of Congress Wednesday to set aside partisan differences and pass groundbreaking legislation to rein in Big Tech, focusing on digital privacy, antitrust and the industry’s liability shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Biden said that despite making some progress on increasing tech industry oversight, the US government has run up against the limits of its statutory authority.

“We need bipartisan action from Congress to hold Big Tech accountable,” Biden wrote. “We’ve heard a lot of talk about creating committees. It’s time to walk the walk and get something done.”

Related: 7 People Who’ll Likely Drive The Biden Administration’s Tech Policy

Biden urged lawmakers to “limit targeted advertising and ban it altogether for children,” a proposal linked to a key bipartisan privacy bill unveiled in the last Congress. He reiterated his longstanding calls to amend Section 230 in ways that would expose tech platforms to more lawsuits over content moderation, and advocated for rules forcing them to be more transparent about how their algorithms work.

And he said Congress should implement “fairer rules of the road” to prevent new businesses from being “smothered by the dominant incumbents before they have a chance to get off the ground.”

Tech policy analysts have said that with Congress entering a new phase of divided partisan control, the prospect of bipartisan tech legislation may have dimmed, particularly on antitrust issues.