When you hear a member of Congress talking about the tech industry these days, there’s a good chance it’s in a negative context. Republicans rail against the companies that have enabled everyday citizens to project their voices with a freedom and scope that even presidents could not have matched just a couple decades ago. Democrats rhapsodize about dismantling some of America’s biggest domestic job creators and most successful exporters. And that’s just on Twitter.
They’re also pitching bills like the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on last week, whose intended and unintended consequences include weakening security on iPhones, eliminating Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping, and making it harder for Google Search to steer users to small businesses using Google Maps, to name just a few.
But while some of America’s most powerful lawmakers focus on cutting Big Tech down to size, how many of the major challenges we face, as a country and as part of the greater global community, can we solve without major technological activity and innovation?
That’s why Ro Khanna’s perspective is valuable in this moment. A member of the House of Representatives (D – CA) since 2016, Khanna is one of just a handful of current Congresspeople who has experience working in the tech industry. In his important new book, Dignity In A Digital Age, he explores how the tech industry can work harder to ensure the benefits it produces are equitably distributed, (Read more...)