Joe Biden's views on tech

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Joe Biden has remained relatively quiet on tech. But here's a look at where he stands. On net neutrality, Biden hasn't said much. A spokesman for Biden's campaign said the former vice president is a supporter of strong net neutrality protections. But Biden's track record tells a different story. When he was a senator, he never co-sponsored or supported net neutrality legislation, including the 2007 Internet Freedom Preservation Act. Other prominent Democrats, including then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, were co-sponsors of that legislation. Biden also has a close relationship with Comcast executives, who've lobbied against strict net neutrality regulations. Comcast Senior Vice President David Cohen hosted Biden's first fundraiser after he announced his bid for president. Of course, Obama also held fundraisers with Comcast before eventually calling for stricter regulation on broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.

Biden has called rebuilding the middle class in America "the moral obligation of our time." And he sees revitalizing and ensuring economic opportunity in rural America as a cornerstone of that effort. A big part of his rural economic development strategy is investing $20 billion in getting broadband access to communities that currently don't have it. He's also called for partnering with municipal utilities to bring fiber broadband connections to communities across rural America.

On antitrust, Biden has said it's too early to talk about breaking up companies and instead has leaned toward regulation as a way to curb their power. Specifically, he's called for changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives online platforms, like Facebook, legal immunity for content posted by third-party users. The law also gives these companies legal cover to make good-faith efforts to moderate their platforms.

On online privacy, Biden hasn't said much about data privacy. But during his years as a US senator and as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s, he introduced and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to make it easier for the FBI and law enforcement to monitor communications, including the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which allows law enforcement to surveil communications over the internet, including voice over IP calls and other internet traffic. Biden also introduced two pieces of legislation in the early '90s -- the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act and the Violent Crime Control Act -- which were staunchly anti-encryption. 

Joe Biden's views on tech