talking point

the arms race

China is at our gates, this is no time to think about regulation.

An argument against regulating tech companies that plays on the growing concern that China is a geopolitical threat to the United States.

The logic is:

  • The United States is in an arms race with China.
  • China is pouring resources into technology such as facial recognition, cyber warfare, AI, etc.
  • The United States will lose this arms race if the government regulates tech companies or breaks them up.

While Facebook and Google are pouring money into AI research, it's not clear that they will stop if they are forced to spin off some of their businesses. There’s also no reason to believe that the government cannot fund AI research themselves.

In any case, it's not a great precedent to set that the United States only enforces antitrust laws until a company becomes so large that it threatens our sovereignty. In which case, we let it govern for the sake of our national security.

That’s because the U.S. is in a race against China to develop cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, and it’s a race we can’t afford to lose. ... We currently lead the world in AI R&D investment, according to a study by the National Science Foundation, but that could soon change if we have regulations that put American companies at a competitive disadvantage. -— Michael Beckerman, President of Internet Association, 2019

This is an arms race. They're going to keep getting better. -— Mark Zuckerberg, April 2018

While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States about the size and power of Chinese tech companies and the … realization that those companies are not going to be broken up. -— Sheryl Sandberg, May 2019

#china #russia #corporate nation states #national security

the arms race

China is at our gates, this is no time to think about regulation.

This is a Cold War scare tactic that suggests Big Tech is good for national security and for ensuring America's place as a global superpower. It builds on the idea that regulation hinders innovation, and promotes corporate monopolies.