If president, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reportedly wants Eric Schmidt, a former Google CEO and one of the company’s largest shareholders, to head a technology industry task force in the White House.
The Financial Times reports that Schmidt is being considered for the role and notes that he has been a big fundraiser for Biden. It also points to the Biden campaign’s previous Big Tech hires which include former Facebook executive Jessica Hertz and former Apple executive Cynthia Hogan.
Schmidt has proved to be Google’s most controversial CEO with his past comments on topics such as privacy, monopolies, and China drawing ire from critics.
Schmidt infamously stated, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” while he was CEO of Google in 2009.
In April, shortly after many states in the US had been plunged into lockdown and millions of people lost their jobs because of the pandemic, Schmidt said that the coronavirus should make people “grateful” for Big Tech.
One month later, Schmidt was chosen to chair a commission tasked with “reimagining” New York’s relationship with technology as a result of the pandemic.
Schmidt has also argued that the US should work with the Chinese government and not criticize it.
And in response to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit that was filed last month, Schmidt claimed that Google isn’t a monopoly because it doesn’t have a 100% market share.
Additionally, Schmidt has argued that social networks need to police the content on their platforms even more aggressively “or there will be regulation.”
But Schmidt’s controversial comments aren’t the only concern related to his potential appointment to a White House tech task force.
Schmidt has also faced scrutiny over his role as chairman of the National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI) – a commission that was established to research ways to advance artificial intelligence (AI) and associated technologies in a way that serves US national security and defense needs.
Privacy and civil liberties group The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has argued that Schmidt and other Big Tech industry executives on the commission could potentially sway the US government in favor of their business interests.
Senator Josh Hawley described the news of Schmidt’s potential role on a White House tech task force as “Biden already selling out to the tech robber barons.”
Former Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Amber Smith warned that “Biden is already bringing in all that Big Tech censorship power and influence.”
This development follows the Biden campaign proposing several sweeping online restrictions and censorship initiatives including a task force that would crack down on online “harassment” and a proposal to end online sale of firearms, ammo, and gun parts.
The Biden campaign also demanded that Facebook ramp up its censorship of posts discussing mail-in voting fraud in the run-up to the election. Since election night, Facebook has heavily censored posts that allege voter fraud by shutting down popular groups, blocking hashtags, adding more “friction,” and putting users on “probation.”
Not only do the prospects of Big Tech’s power and censorship influence being challenged under a potential Biden administration look increasingly bleak but the news of Schmidt’s possible appointment also reflects wider concerns about the power tech giants wield over the electoral process.
A bombshell negative story about Biden was aggressively censored by Big Tech before the election. Memes and critical videos about Biden were also aggressively struck down by these tech companies. President Trump has had his statements censored by tech companies more than 60 times while these same companies haven’t restricted Biden once.
Now Schmidt and former executives from Big Tech companies that deployed this one-sided censorship in the run-up to the election are being given high ranking roles by a campaign that benefited from this censorship.