Rep. Ro Khanna says balancing regulation and ethics online is key to ensuring technology remains a force for good: “We need technology to democratize voices in America”

The Silicon Valley representative has long supported moderate regulation of online platforms, centered on consumer data privacy and antitrust protections. In 2018, he proposed the Internet Bill of Rights, a list of principles designed to inform future legislation on technology issues, though he noted to Politico that “not much has been done” to enact new laws since his proposal , and no new antitrust legislation has passed.

“I say it’s all Biden’s partisanship and believe he’s done nothing wrong,” Matt Taiby reports Rep. Ro Khanna wrote in an email to Vijaya Gadde, then head of Twitter’s legal department. “But the story is now more about censorship than relatively innocuous email, and it’s becoming more important than ever. It’s also now leading to serious efforts to cut Section 230 — many of which are wrong.”

Despite his concerns about Twitter, Khanna remains optimistic about tech companies’ potential to benefit society.

I think most people are happy that they have the ability to search for information online in a way that was probably more powerful than President Reagan,” Khanna told Politico, maintaining a confident stance on the positive potential of technology, something he has championed since taking office. Known for being first elected in 2016. “They were delighted at the tremendous advances in medical science that Silicon Valley technology is making. They rejoice in extraordinary achievements and climates, from batteries to electric cars to solar panels. I think the trajectory of technology is still a force for good. ”

Khanna added that such technology must be regulated “in the service of a higher purpose,” keeping in mind a realistic framework that allows tech companies to create solutions to societal problems.

“I think we need technology to solve the climate problem,” Khanna told Politico. “We need technology to bring back manufacturing. We need technology to democratize the voice of America. I don’t mind that we don’t have Walter Cronkite telling us what the truth is; I think it’s a good thing we have a diffuse voice in this country.”

Khanna told Politico that the current dominance of online platforms like Twitter in our political and economic lives leads him to believe that more people need access to technology to address data privacy and inequality, and that more technology companies are needed To prevent digital monopoly.

“If tech companies are the architects of modern life, then we need more people involved and more companies to have the opportunity to shape it,” Khanna told Politico. “Otherwise, you have too few companies and too few individuals with influence on American culture.”

Rep. Khanna’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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