After Twitter closed the personal account of the United States president, Donald Trump, the controversy over the relationship between the main technology companies in the country, which make up a large part of the well-known Big Tech companies, and the Democratic politicians resurfaced. A report released by The Daily Caller mentions some of President-elect Joe Biden’s ties to the top 5 Big Tech companies.
Joe Biden has several advisors who served as senior executives of the major Big Tech companies that took action against President Trump and the social media Parler, a new platform that is attracting many conservatives who are seeking alternatives to circumventing Twitter censorship.
According to The Daily Caller, “Joe Biden has hired at least 14 current or former executives from five Big Tech companies to serve in his administration or advise his transition team.”
For example, Apple’s top lobbyist was a senior advisor to Joe Biden’s transition team. A former Facebook executive will be Biden’s White House chief of staff, and a former Twitter executive will be the chief spokesperson for the National Security Council under the president-elect.
Several current and former executives from the above companies, along with two others – Google and Amazon – hold other positions in Biden’s incoming administration, or on his transition team, according to The Daily Caller.
Reports about Big Tech companies and their links with Biden
On December 21, Reuters published a report called Big Tech’s Stealth Push to Influence the Biden Administration.
The investigative article reports that “Silicon Valley is working behind the scenes to secure high-level roles for technology allies in lesser-known but still vital parts of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration,” while rejection of Big Tech is growing in the country.
The Biden transition team has already stacked its agency review teams with more tech executives than tech critics. It has also added to its staff several officials from Big Tech companies, which emerged as top donors to the campaign.
According to the renowned news agency, executives and employees of Big Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft were pressing for candidates to be placed in high positions in government agencies, according to four sources with knowledge of the subject.
Per Reuters, these executives were seeking positions in the Departments of Commerce, State and Defense, as well as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Moreover, last September, according to a Politico report, “Biden turned to Cynthia Hogan, Apple’s top lobbyist, to serve full-time on its transition team. Hogan is a longtime advisor to Biden, having worked for him when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Big tech names in the Biden administration
Some names of members of technology companies provided by the Daily Caller who are in Joe Biden’s administration:
Jessica Hertz, former head of the Facebook regulatory team, will serve as White House Staff Secretary.
Emily Horne, who was head of global policy communications for Twitter, will be the press director and spokesperson for the National Security Council.
David Recordon, a former Facebook developer, will be the director of technology for the Office of Management and Administration.
Austin Lin, a former Facebook program manager, will be Recordon’s deputy director.
Jeff Zients, a former Facebook board member who served in the Obama administration, “is Biden’s COVID-19 Czar.”
“Tony Blinken, whom Biden turned to as his secretary of state, provided advisory services to Facebook through his consulting firm, WestExec Partners, according to financial statements he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics.”
Who are the nominees with links to Big Tech companies?
Concerns about Biden’s relationships with Big Tech companies are not only because of the positions already awarded, but because executives who joined the transition are helping to evaluate nominees for federal agency positions in the Biden administration.
Amazon executives Tom Sullivan and Mark Schwartz “are part of the State Department and Office of Management and Budget agency review teams, respectively.”
Deon Scott, program manager at Google’s Global Business Operations, “is on the Department of Homeland Security review team.”
At the same time, three Facebook executives, Zaid Zaid, Rachel Lieber and Christopher Upperman are on the transition review team. Their role is to advise “the nominations for the Department of State, the Intelligence Community and the Small Business Administration, respectively.”
Erskine Bowles, according to Reuters, is another former Facebook board member who is advising Biden’s transition team.
Finally, The Daily Caller reported that a lobbying firm – founded by Steve Ricchetti, Biden’s top White House advisor – signed an agreement with Amazon on November 13. The firm is called Ricchetti Incorporated and will “lobby the White House and Congress on health issues for Amazon, which is forming a healthcare business.”
While the Caller said there is no indication or evidence to determine that the Biden administration had anything to do with President Trump’s social media suspension, his next administration’s ties to the country’s top five technology companies are troubling, as the power of Big Tech companies, which has been in charge of demonstrating it in recent months, is growing.