Top U.S. Democrat Proposes Measures To Curb Silicon Valley

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Virginia Senator Mark Warner's office authored a research paper on the methods that Capitol Hill could employ in order to curb a number of privacy and other issues posed by the Silicon Valley and its technologies, Axios reports, citing a copy of the document that's been circulated among tech policy officials in recent weeks. The study identifies three main goals that Senator Warner — who's also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee — and his staff believe should be top priorities for U.S. lawmakers in the tech field moving forward: enacting adequate user privacy protections, deciding on measures meant to combat fake news and any other kind of online misinformation, and promoting competition in the stateside technology industry.

The paper goes over the majority of theoretical options American legislators have at their disposal in regards to regulating big tech in the country, save for two most radical ones: establishing a new agency in charge of policing the segment or breaking up juggernauts such as Google and Facebook, something the European Union is already considering, at least in regards to the latter firm. One of the more out-there ideas that was proposed by the paper is putting a price on every individual's data and demanding the Silicon Valley pays for that information in order to use it for commercial purposes. Stricter account authentication requirements are also on the cards, as are media literacy programs and a privacy ruleset akin to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation which went into effect in late May.

The paper is an extension of Senator Warner's existing policy stances that have been highly critical of digital platforms in the past, though the chances of any of them being enacted without a Democratic majority in both Congress houses remain slim. Due to that state of affairs, no major changes on the digital regulation front in the U.S. are expected until the November 6 mid-terms possibly change the composition of the top legislative body in the country. In the meantime, the Trump administration is presently said to be working on a new digital privacy policy that it hopes will eventually be codified by Congress, though that initiative is still in an early phase of development.

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