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Senators Warren and Graham Propose Bipartisan Legislation to Establish Tech Regulation Commission

Senators Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, are joining forces to introduce a bill aimed at regulating major technology companies.

This legislation, known as the Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act, was presented on Thursday, proposing the establishment of a new agency responsible for supervising tech powerhouses like Meta, Google, Amazon, and others.

The proposed commission's role would involve fostering competition in the tech industry and safeguarding online consumer privacy. It is intended to function alongside existing antitrust bodies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ), as outlined in the bill.

The proposed legislation also aims to establish rules that would require "dominant platforms" to be licensed. If these platforms continually breach anti-competition and consumer protection norms, their licenses could be revoked. This legislative move is a further endeavor by Congress to curtail the immense influence of tech behemoths.

Despite previous attempts to regulate these firms, such as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act, these bills failed to reach the Senate floor for voting last year. Companion bills originating from the House Judiciary Committee faced similar fates.

The initiative by Senators Warren and Graham is an attempt to more comprehensively regulate the tech industry by establishing a commission explicitly designed for its oversight. This includes managing the response to emerging threats, such as those posed by artificial intelligence (AI)—an area where lawmakers are scrambling to comprehend and regulate.

The senators shared their collective frustration and determination in a New York Times op-ed, “Congress is too slow, it lacks the tech expertise, and Big Tech's lobbyists can easily counter isolated efforts. The change we need to push for is structural.”

The battle for tech reform has always been challenging for lawmakers, considering the industry's substantial lobbying power against congressional legislation. While Republicans leading the House have mainly concentrated on content moderation issues, their focus has been less on bills intended to curb Big Tech's market dominance.

This is not the first time Warren has teamed up with a Republican colleague; just last month, she partnered with Senator J.D. Vance from Ohio on a bill targeting negligent bank executives with stricter penalties.


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