The following is an edited version of the opening remarks delivered by Jamil Jivani, president of the Canada Strong and Free Network, in his debate with Reason Magazine’s Robby Soave on the question of regulating big tech. The debate took place in Ottawa on Friday, May 6 at the 14th Canada Strong and Free Networking conference.
I’m going to probably surprise some people by starting my pro-regulation argument by quoting a libertarian think tank. The eighth edition of the Cato Institute’s handbook for policymakers explains why we should believe in the principle of limited government. Cato states, “Advocates of limited government are not anti‐government, per se, as some people charge. Rather, they are hostile to concentrations of coercive power and to the arbitrary use of power against right.”1
My support for regulating big tech is based on these very same concerns with concentrations of power. It would be a mistake to think that conservatives should only be concerned with power in government hands. We ought to be consistent in our desire to see appropriate checks and balances, wherever power might concentrate.
There are many ways we could go about documenting big tech’s unprecedented power. For example, in Canada, the duopoly of Facebook (now known as Meta) and Google receive 80 percent of digital advertising revenues.2 This is objective domination of information networks. Or, how about Google accounting for 90 percent of search results in the United States?
Read more of it here: https://thehub.ca/2022-05-16/the-conservative-case-for-regulating-big-tech/
Jamil Jivani is an award-winning lawyer and author, who serves as the Government of Ontario’s first-ever advocate for Community Opportunities. He also leads a youth-focused research nonprofit, Road Home Research & Analysis, which is supported by the Pinball Clemens Foundation, and hosts a weekly radio show, “Tonight with Jamil Jivani” on Newstalk 1010.