FCC’s Ajit Pai questions whether Google, Facebook, Twitter need more oversight

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai implied on Tuesday that tech giants like Google and Facebook should receive more stringent oversight.

Pai made the calls in a blog post on Medium. It comes the day before Twitter, Facebook, and Google will send representatives to testify before Congress.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Alphabet CEO Larry Page will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to CNET. Dorsey will also testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a hearing that is expected to address the issue of “shadow banning.”

In the blog post, Pai—who was central in the FCC’s decision to rescind net neutrality protections that regulated internet service—argues for transparency from tech firms, and wants answers about privacy and online expression as well.

“Currently, the FCC imposes strict transparency requirements on companies that operate broadband networks—how they manage their networks, performance characteristics, and the like,” he wrote. “Yet consumers have virtually no insight into similar business practices by tech giants. Do steps need to be taken to ensure that consumers receive more information about how these companies operate, and if so, what should those steps be and who should take them?”

He continued:

“Indeed, there are plenty of cases in which tech giants decide what consumers see and what they don’t. So when we talk about protecting a free and open Internet, shouldn’t we be focusing on the part of the Internet economy where it is most at risk?”

You can read all of the FCC chairman’s blog post here.

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).