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Letter: Lee’s attempt to take on Big Tech could cost us — in more than one way

SHARE Letter: Lee’s attempt to take on Big Tech could cost us — in more than one way
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Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

Jonathan Newton, The Washington Post via Associated Press

Free speech is a fundamental right in America, and many Utahns utilize social media platforms to exercise it. In last month’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Sen. Mike Lee and his colleagues questioned tech CEOs over conservative bias in their companies. Proposed solutions to this concern could do more harm than good, and they could ultimately reduce your ability to exercise free speech on social media by eliminating long-held liabilities for tech companies that promote a free exchange of ideas. In light of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit intended to break up Big Tech companies, Utahns should be wary about an overextended government.

While so many are utilizing tech products during the coronavirus, attacking and breaking up tech companies is not only nonsensical, but it also hurts every small business that relies on digital tools, impedes our free economy, and degrades the breadth of our civil liberties in the digital world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, tech companies have kept our mom-and-pop shops open and allowed us to meaningfully engage with our friends and family. Rather than trying to bring down the industry that is keeping people together, Sen. Lee ought to work with his colleagues to prioritize addressing the very real concerns of the public health crisis — not spend time jeopardizing Americans’ right to engage on social media or their access to needed technology.

Ryan Easton

West Jordan