Facebook and Google’s enormous profits may buoy Wall Street. But it’s a different story in Washington.

The tech industry’s ongoing strong financial performance reflects a soaring economic outlook. But it is increasingly at odds with worsening political winds in Washington as policymakers worry that Silicon Valley has become too dominant, too invasive and too out-of-control. “There is a looming coalition of conservatives skeptical of liberal West Coast companies, and progressives who worry about bigness in any form,” said Darrell West, director of the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation. “And what the tech companies have to worry about is if this becomes a bipartisan issue and if this unites the left and the right against them. That would be a seismic shift in American politics.” For Silicon Valley, the Russia probe is merely one dimension of a broader kind of political reckoning taking place in Washington. Politicians are now talking urgently about tech firms’ moral obligation to protect America’s highest principles — something rarely said about other industries.


Facebook and Google’s enormous profits may buoy Wall Street. But it’s a different story in Washington.