Launching Tuesday, the Tech Oversight Project plans to bring “campaign-style” tactics to push lawmakers to pass competition legislation aimed at the tech industry. The project is primarily funded by the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic venture launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar that has called for greater regulation of the tech industry, and the advocacy arm of the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit organization led by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who has called for the breakup of the social network he helped create.
The project sees itself as a direct response to Big Tech-funded groups such as NetChoice and the Connected Commerce Council, which have been flooding social media feeds and email newsletters with ads defending the industry against regulation, reported the Washington Post.
“Our aim is to be a direct counterweight to those organizations that have been lobbying for the status quo for years,” said Sacha Haworth, the executive director of the Tech Oversight Project.
Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon over the past decade have significantly increased their lobbying forces in Washington as they fight a rising tide of scrutiny over privacy, competition and content moderation. Amazon spent approximately $18 million on lobbying in 2020, while Facebook spent a record-breaking $20 million.
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