Demand the U.S. Justice Department Bring the Tech Oligarchs to Heel
Our friends at Americans for Limited Government in conjunction with other conservative
organizations, such as CHQ, have launched a campaign to put a stop to the collusion of Amazon, Apple and Google to shut down the social media sharing site Parler – Facebook and Twitter’s competition. From our perspective, this is but the latest chapter in their long running attack on the free expression of ideas, and it must be stopped if the United States is to survive as a free society.
Silicon Valley has moved from being a model of American innovation to being arbitrary arbiters of thought. Their actions to shut down competing ideas must be met with immediate state and federal antitrust action, including by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department, which the Supreme Court should hear as soon as they are filed. The actions Amazon, Apple and Google have taken are dangerous and show that the concentration of power in their hands has turned them into tyrants deciding what people should see and think. These companies should cease and desist from their abuse of power immediately.
As our friend Daniel Greenfield explained, with Apple and Google operating systems running most smartphones, most people tending to get their smartphones from one of the handful of remaining service providers, e.g. the big three, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile that means 5 companies essentially control the mobile ecosystem and can shut down an app like Parler anytime they please.
They can also, if they please, shut down access to any site accessed through their browsers. They can also ban any browser from their app store or device that doesn't shut down access to these sites.
And, says Mr. Greenfield, don't get the idea that desktops and laptops are safe.
According to Greenfield’s analysis, “Microsoft is 'evolving' toward a walled garden of apps. Redmond being incompetent, it's messed up multiple opportunities to do so, notably Windows 8, which was a complete disaster. The PC is really only free because Microsoft is incompetent. But Microsoft wants to take a percent from every app installed. And at some point it's going to shove that into Windows 10 in another update while deliberately breaking Windows 7 under the guise of some sort of urgent emergency threat.”
The internet service providers are also narrowing down to a smaller group that's only going to get smaller which, says Mr. Greenfield, would make it possible for a handful of telecoms to likewise block access to particular sites. There are a lot more workarounds for that scenario, but every workaround limits the potential audience and ghettoizes conservatives.
Antitrust breakups, which the DOJ and Republican states were pushing for, would have done far more, says Greenfield. But considering the events of the past few months, that's a lot less likely to happen. Instead, look for Google and the rest of the boys to "negotiate" a settlement that will see them moving millions into Democrats and lefty groups in exchange for promising not to misbehave. Win-win, as they say.
What is developing is a “digital iron curtain,” concluded Mr. Greenfield.
The problem isn't just that Facebook, Twitter, or Google are biased against conservatives. The problem is that the internet is controlled by an increasingly small interconnected network of companies who can act in concert to suppress anyone or anything they don't like. You can't just walk in and 'compete' with a trust. In the last decade, the Democrats, the media, and Big Tech assembled a rationale, e.g. disinformation, Russian interference, for heavily censoring the internet.
And that doesn’t even account for the role played by advertising and payment solutions, which have already attacked the firearms industry. Control those, concluded Mr. Greenfield, and no conservative website is going to be profitable. Meanwhile lefty sites can be awash in cash.
Conservatives have been slow to grasp the scale of the threat, to react to it, and to build a plan to fight it. Fighting the Tech Oligarchs in court may be one solution, but it will be a slow one, and there's only so much time. We urge all CHQ readers and friends to help with the first step by signing the letter to the Department of Justice demanding anti-trust action against Apple, Google and Amazon.
Amazon Web Services
Parler CEO John Matze