Glenn Greenwald Discusses Silicon Valley Monopoly Power and Censorship
March 12 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Glenn Greenwald testified today before the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law to discuss “the dangers of Silicon Valley’s monopoly power” and the “dangers posed by their growing power,” and the “repressive effect” this has “on free discourse, a free press, and a free internet.” He pointed to three recent incidents:
1. The censoring of the New York Post for its coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop, both by Twitter and by Facebook, on the basis that the reporting was based either on “hacked materials” or “Russian disinformation.” Neither of those claims is true. “This was one of the most direct acts of information repression about an American presidential election in decades.”
2. Following the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Silicon Valley giants removed the President of the United States from their platforms. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU Commissioner for Internal Markets Thierry Breton, the U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune, and France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire all spoke out against big tech’s unregulated ability to censor as a threat to democracy. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador compared the censorship to a second Inquisition.
3. In response to the idea that people can just go out and create their own platforms if they don’t like the censorious decisions of private firms, Parler was created as a free speech platform. But several powerful members of Congress demanded that Apple and Google remove Parler from their stores, and that Amazon cease providing its web hosting. Can these monopolies truly be challenged through competition?
Greenwald concludes his opening statement by referring to the Subcommittee’s October 2020 report on the monopoly power of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. “Virtually every concern that Americans across the political spectrum express about the dangers of Silicon Valley power emanates from the fact that they have been permitted to flout antitrust laws and acquire monopoly power. None of these problems ... can be addressed until that core problem is resolved.”