President Joe Biden inherits a heavy and risky technology legacy, including how to rein in the powerful digital stars, what to do about Chinese technology, and how to attract more Americans to the Internet.
The following is an overview of the opportunities and challenges in the technology policy of the new Biden administration:
Restricting technological forces
There have been investigations, lawsuits and loud wrangling over the power of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and other tech companies under the Trump administration.
Tech giants can expect more of this debate under President Biden and the Congress, which is largely controlled by the Democrats.
Government lawsuits that accuse Google and Facebook of violating the law to achieve success or stay that way will be handed over to the new administration that is expected to continue.
More lawsuits could be filed as well, which could make it difficult for the major tech companies to continue as they are.
A senior attorney for the Department of Justice, appointed by former President Donald Trump, on Tuesday approved a number of proposals by congressional Democrats who said that America's Big Four are harmful monopolies, and the speech showed that hatred of big tech companies is one of the few areas in which they agreed. It has two parties.
Tech giants expect more controversy under President Biden and the largely Democratic-controlled Congress (social media)
Hate speech online
This online battle began long before Facebook and Twitter shut down Trump's accounts after he incited his followers to storm Congress.
This fight centered on the Basic Internet Act of 1996, particularly Section 230 of the Communications Etiquette Act, which gives websites some legal protection for what their users do.
This means that Yelp can allow people to leave reviews of restaurants and check them for fraudulent attempts, without being legally liable to unhappy website owners.
Both Democrats and Republicans have concerns about Article 230, but their reasons are different.
Those on the right said the law gives internet companies plenty of room to interfere with what people say online, while Democrats, including Biden, said internet companies had too much cover to not interfere with harmful posts.
Dissatisfaction with Section 230 increases the likelihood of at least some adjustments. This could include removing legal protections for sites that host false information about voting or forcing companies to be clear about how their posts are supervised.
Technology and China
The Donald Trump administration’s stance on Chinese apps including TikTok was an opportunity to answer an important question: What should the US government do about globally important technology toward countries that do not share American values?
Biden appears to agree with the Trump administration's concerns about China's ambitions in technology and other areas, but he has said little other than seeking a more coherent policy.
Biden also expressed support for more government investment in core US technology to counter China's technology ambitions.
Biden agrees with Trump administration concerns about China's ambitions in technology and other areas (Shutterstock)
The digital divide
The epidemic has highlighted the persistent gap between Americans who have access to internet service and its costs, and the millions who cannot, especially in low-income or rural households.
Among Biden's priorities is access to "global broadband," but he has not specified how to get there.
The Washington Post reported that Biden’s advisers want to improve E-Rate, a program to help schools and libraries provide access to the Internet.
Biden's economic recovery plan includes proposals to "launch the most ambitious effort ever" to modernize US cyber defenses.
Could this be the time to update the Federal Data Privacy Act?
The most urgent priority for the new administration is to end the epidemic and help Americans recover from the damage!
But the way the United States government deals with these complex technical questions will also have a major impact on Americans and others around the world.