Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren, writing at The New York Times: Enough is enough. It’s time to rein in Big Tech. And we can’t do it with a law that only nibbles around the edges of the problem. Piecemeal efforts to stop abusive and dangerous practices have failed. Congress is too slow, it lacks the tech expertise, and the army of Big Tech lobbyists can pick off individual efforts easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Meaningful change — the change worth engaging every member of Congress to fight for — is structural.
For more than a century, Congress has established regulatory agencies to preserve innovation while minimizing harm presented by emerging industries. In 1887 the Interstate Commerce Commission took on railroads. In 1914 the Federal Trade Commission took on unfair methods of competition and later unfair and deceptive acts and practices. In 1934 the Federal Communications Commission took on radio (and then television). In 1975 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took on nuclear power, and in 1977 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission took on electric generation and transmission. We need a nimble, adaptable, new agency with expertise, resources and authority to do the same for Big Tech.
Our Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act would create an independent, bipartisan regulator charged with licensing and policing the nation’s biggest tech companies — like Meta, Google and Amazon — to prevent online harm, promote free speech and competition, guard Americans’ privacy and protect national security. The new watchdog would focus on the unique threats posed by tech giants while strengthening the tools available to the federal agencies and state attorneys general who have authority to regulate Big Tech.
Our legislation would guarantee common-sense safeguards for everyone who uses tech platforms. Families would have the right to protect their children from sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and deadly drugs. Certain digital platforms have promoted the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, suicidal ideation and eating disorders or done precious little to combat these evils; our bill would require Big Tech to mitigate such harms and allow families to seek redress if they do not.