We’re finally starting to see what Trump’s stance on tech might look like

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Trump's transition team has tapped Jeffrey Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, for advice on tech and telecom policy. A closer look at Eisenach's policy papers signals how Trump might try to shape the digital economy of the future, should he be elected as president.

Eisenach thinks there may be legitimate concerns about Internet providers wielding their "market power", but he doesn't believe network neutrality rules are the right way to address them. In fact, he views net neutrality more as a regulatory gift to online businesses who lobbied hard for the rules. "It is best understood as an effort by one set of private interests [the tech industry] to enrich itself by using the power of the state to obtain free services from another [Internet providers]," Eisenach told a Senate committee in 2014, "a classic example of what economists term 'rent seeking.'" Eisenach and Trump are both pointing to a system that, in a sometimes flawed manner, allows businesses and wealthy individuals to extract gains by outmaneuvering their fellow peers in the policy arena. This view basically holds that so long as the system is set up this way, it is perfectly legitimate to seek out advantages within it; the government just shouldn't grant any new ones. On net neutrality, for example, Eisenach's preferred approach is to forgo any proactive regulation, letting companies and regulatory agencies duke out their disputes with big lawsuits. This should also please Trump, a businessman who has not been shy about litigation.


We’re finally starting to see what Trump’s stance on tech might look like