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Biden and Big Tech

Katherine Doyle writes for the Washington Examiner about the Biden transition team’s reliance on Big Tech insiders.

Agency review teams for the Biden-Harris presidential transition have added Silicon Valley insiders in droves, an analysis shows.

The teams are charged with planning for the incoming presidency, holding sway over thousands of political and staff appointments, including positions atop the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and leading the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Facebook is fending off regulatory action by the FTC, with Google fighting off the Department of Justice.

“Big Tech understands the executive branch. They know that beyond antitrust and communications policy, from trade law to defense contracting and beyond, Big Tech has an enormous amount at stake with how Biden chooses to staff his administration and what initial policies it implements,” the Revolving Door Project’s Jeff Hauser told the Washington Examiner.
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Dropbox Head of Public Policy Ted Dean has joined the Commerce Department team, where he spent three years as deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary working on digital trade, privacy, and data issues, according to a biography. Dean is the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, where he ran a tech, media, and telecom consulting firm for 16 years advising U.S. companies.

Will Fields, a senior associate at Sidewalk Labs, a technology and “urban innovation” firm owned by Google parent company Alphabet, and Nicole Isaac, a senior public policy director at LinkedIn, are on the Treasury Department teams. …

… Last month, the transition quietly added four new Facebook and Google employees to its agency review teams, Politico reported.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, in a tweet last week called the Federal Trade Commission’s suit, which seeks to unwind Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and Whatsapp, “a necessity.”

In October, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, also a Republican, said he had one message for Silicon Valley’s “big tech oligarchs,” announcing on Twitter that “winter is coming.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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