January 16, 2021

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The Fractured Tech Lobby’s Uphill Battles

The Fractured Tech Lobby’s Uphill Battles

Silicon Valley’s leading lobby, the Internet Association, is struggling to manage the competing interests of the companies it represents just as the industry faces a tide of bipartisan anger. From a report: Tech will fight policy battles around antitrust, content moderation and privacy without a unified industry voice. Major tech firms have drawn attention in recent days for pressing pause on political donations in the wake of last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol. But lobbying, the other major path for currying favor in Washington, hasn’t been working for tech for a while.

Too many firms working at cross purposes. The Internet Association was founded almost a decade ago to be Silicon Valley’s voice in Washington. But now its biggest members — companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon — increasingly bump heads as they each seek to channel policymakers’ fury away from themselves, and they can have wildly different goals from smaller members. Facebook, for instance, has signaled that it’s open to new federal laws introducing privacy regulations and modest updates to Section 230, tech’s liability shield. Smaller companies worry giants could handle the burden of complying while they’d struggle to survive.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.