Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the official impeachment proceedings against President Trump today. They further said that the approaching political fracas will not be directly tech-related but it will have serious effects on several efforts at federal level to rein in or influence the technology industry.
How Technology Industry is Going to Suffer?
Impeachment does not mean the government will stop doing what they need to do. But it immediately become one of the highest priority items that White House’s already to-do list. It is more than possible that with impeachment work, the smoldering conflict in Saudi Arabia, immigration and ICE issues, other issues, and legal challenges, something resembling with social media regulation may not be important enough to actively pursue.
The Trump administration is having a complicated relationship with technology industry. Most of the people say that it was the leveraging of social media that helped him to get elected. Trump has embraced it on Twitter so closely as to make it effectively the main instrument of his office. But he is also having repeatedly lashed out against companies like Facebook and Google for various reasons.
For instance, In July the president said there “may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with the China.” Then in the next week he said that Google had taken a very illegal actions, specifically that they suppressed negative stories on Hillary Clinton and boosted negative stories on Donald Trump. He also accused Google of having “manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes in a favor of Clinton in 2016 election saying that Google should be sued.
This was only a few handful examples from previous weeks. These events individually happened to have occurred in response to what the president was watching or being told at the time.
The unusual inquiry for the latent antitrust violations by Google does not seem to have been instigated by the White home, though the FTC and branch of Justice Investigations were spurred by the Executive in some form.
Trump Relation with Technology Giants
Trump has found himself notionally on the side of Big Technology everywhere for instance, on the question of privacy and user protection laws. The states like Illinois have highly robust laws in place for years that have proven a thorn in many a company’s side. Now, California is having its own, the industry decided that enough is enough and has been calling loudly for federal intervention. The logic of federal law on the matter say that selling a personally identifiable information to advertisers, would be more lenient and preempt state laws. They are right not to expect anything of the scale or rigor of GDPR.
Note that some of these machines are already in motion, the White House has yet to set others. For instance, a puzzling rumored order that would have put the FCC responsible for regulating the social media. Tech companies will likely to breath a sigh of relief at the thought that Trump’s attention will be on other issues as impeachment proceedings begin and blend into the 2020 election.