Reason Roundup

Ted Cruz Wants To Punish Google Because Execs Didn't Vote for Trump

Plus: a bipartisan batch of U.S. lawmakers proposes more plans to take over tech, San Francisco bans e-cigs, Tiffany Cabán wins Queens DA primary, and more...


Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) has joined conservative counterparts like freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) in threatening action against "Big Tech." Unlike Democratic counterparts, who at least pretend their impulses are based on concern for concrete issues, Cruz and company seem to have no problem revealing the self-serving, corrupt, authoritarian nature of their proposals.

Hawley's whole thing has been pushing social media regulation and free speech crackdowns based on his belief that a few big online companies have shown bias toward ordinary conservative users. Cruz is taking a less populist route, harping on how much money tech executives donated to Democrats versus Republicans and whether any of them voted for Dear Leader.

In a congressional hearing yesterday, Cruz grilled a Google executive on whether any of her colleagues had voted for Trump and whether any of them had donated to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. As a lot of folks have pointed out, this smacks of some super-corrupt and fascistic operating.

Tea Party-era Ted Cruz would've flipped his shit over this stuff. But like most of that formerly free-market promoting crew, he's now perfectly content to promote MAGA socialism and pretend there's nothing to see here.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Warner (D–Va.)—whom you might remember from his absolutely insane leaked internet proposal last summer—and Hawley have teamed up on a weird, unworkable, ignorant-of-reality scheme to make tech companies tell every individual user what their personal data "is worth."

Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.) wants to micromanage how search engines and web platforms display content, requiring them to offer algorithm-free experiences.

And Hawaii Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz suggested companies should face "legal and financial responsibility" when Washington doesn't like the algorithms they use.