I spend a lot of time on this blog criticizing Senator Josh Hawley, mostly because of his anti-technology beliefs. However, he is far from the only one. While he is the most public, do not make the mistake of assuming the old people in Congress understand technology and the youngest Senator is the only one who doesn’t get IPhones.
Reason Magazine ran an article called “6 Terrible New Tech Bills In Congress.” Two of them — the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act (which I thought already failed) and Protecting Children from Online Predators Act of 2019 — were introduced by Senator Josh Hawley, so I’ll just ignore those. After all, I’ve made it clear my thoughts on this fraud many times now.
So here are four more Representatives in Congress who are also anti-tech.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX)
Texas has given us some crazy over the years. From George W. Bush to Ted Cruz to Phil Ghramm. However, Louis Gohmert (a favorite Representative of Glenn Beck) is the latest in the long line of insanity.
His bill, The Biased Algorithm Deterrence Act, would ban social media websites from recommending content in anything other than chronological order. So those related videos on your YouTube feed, sorry, Gohmert doesn’t think they’re neutral enough.
Of course, if someone wants to see a video the algorithm isn’t recommending them they could always use the search bar. Both YouTube and Twitter allow you to search for Videos and Tweets respectively. And if that doesn’t work you could search the video up through Google, Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo. Those are options to Representative.
Gohmert has a long history of being insane. He once tried to take the role of Speaker of the House away from John Boehner because Boehner was too moderate, he has also said Barack Obama was trying to restart the Ottoman Empire.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
The Trademarked little old lady of Congress has her own plan to help deal with big-tech. The Bot Disclosure and Accountability Act is said to be a way to protect the first amendment, odd because Feinstein has previous said this:
I can’t support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege . . .or if Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have special privilege. I’m not going to go there.
She is also against fair use, supports a ban on flag burning, voted for McCain-Feingold, supports the Fairness Doctrine, voted for COICA, is in favor of gun control, supports NSA spying, voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, and has supported wiretapping. But she cares about constitutional rights? Give me a break.
Her bill would make US citizens disclose the use of “automated software program or process intended to impersonate or replicate human activity online” to the federal government. So to save the first amendment she’s abolishing the fourth amendment, I get it now.
I’ll give the Senator that spam emails created by bots are annoying, however this is the not the way to do it. Most websites already have ways of making sure the users of the website are people and not robots. Just like always, the government hops on to something that’s nearly gone so they can take credit for it.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Coming in during the Tea Party Revolution, Representative Paul Gosar has his own plan to take down big tech.
To be fair, his legislation — A Bill To amend section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (commonly referred to as the Communications Decency Act) to stop censorship, and for other purposes — is the least awful plan of the four, but that’s not saying much.
I should start by noting that Gosar has no idea what Section 230 is. Saying it separates platforms who have “discretion for removing content,” and publishers who can’t because “they monetize their users’ content.” That’s just completely inaccurate.
His bill would make it so companies can “restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” Because I guess they can’t already.
Gosnar basically wants a restricted mode for every website under the sun. Again, as if they don’t already have that. Both YouTube and Twitter have features which allow users to watch videos and view posts without having to see more explicate content.
Although, I can’t help but notice that his legislation is the exact opposite of Senator Josh Hawley’s. Because of that, part of me wants it to pass just so we can go in the exact reverse direction of what Hawley wants.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
The man who called for Mark Zuckerburg to talk in front of Congress has a new plan to fight the power while being the power. His bill would require any “commercial data operator” with more than 100,000,000 “unique monthly visors” to give people how much that data is worth every 90 days. They would have to do the same with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
I assume they would also have to give that data to the government. (As if they don’t have it already) Maybe this is a plot to lower the national debt. Seriously, maybe they want to sell that data to these companies themselves instead of having FaceBook do it, where they’re at least limited to what you tell them.