Ex-intel officials claim antitrust could hurt U.S. in China tech race

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Twelve former top US national security officials are urging Congress to put an end to a package of antitrust bills to consider how breaking up tech companies could hurt the US in its competition with China. a letter Obtained by Axis.

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big picture: Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates are among those to argue that imposing severe sanctions on US giants altogether would pave the way for a tech landscape dominated by China – an echo of the situation Voiced by Big Tech Companies Self.

What are they saying: In its quest to “reduce American influence” and become “the world’s leading innovator”, the Chinese government “designed to create and support national champions’ technology companies,” former officials wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. employs policies.” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

  • Antitrust laws set to break US tech giants — without targeting Chinese companies such as Huawei, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba — could stifle innovation that is “critical to maintaining America’s technological edge,” he argues.
  • Former officials praise the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act — a comprehensive, $200 billion China-focused package that was overwhelmingly passed by the Senate in June — but the House’s no-confidence motions from Congress before proceeding further. called upon to study the implications.
  • Since leaving public service, several signatories to the letter have joined the boards of organizations that receive funding or work for tech firms such as Google and Amazon.
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On the other end: “These arguments are the same arguments that Facebook and Google have been making for far too long in an effort to avoid regulation,” Rep. David Sicilin (Dr.I.), chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the House Judiciary, told Nerdshala. “And I think the evidence is actually just the opposite.”

  • Ciciline – which is seeking a House vote on the bills this fall – argues that competition spurs innovation, and that lack of competition in digital marketplaces has caused a “very dangerous” decline in innovation that is driving its growth. threat to national security.
  • A spokesman for the subcommittee’s top Republican Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo) told Nerdshala: “Let’s be clear: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are hurting American competitiveness by engaging in anti-competitive practices. Our bill Will make a competition.”

Between the lines: The letter does not acknowledge China’s own Big Tech action, which has intensified in recent months.

  • The Financial Times informed of This week, for example, that Chinese regulators are seeking to crack down on payments app Alipay — Beijing’s latest salvo against Jack Ma’s Ant Group, whose Record-setting IPO stalled by Xi Jinping last year.
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The letter was signed by:

  • Robert Cardillo, former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • Dan Coates, former Director of National Intelligence
  • Adm. James Foggo III, former US Navy Commander Europe-Africa
  • Sue Gordon, former Chief Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  • Rick Ledgate Jr., former NSA Deputy Director
  • Michael Morrell, former acting CIA director
  • John Negroponte, former Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State
  • Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA
  • Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, former Director of Naval Intelligence and Commander of the Tenth Fleet
  • Francis Townsend, former White House homeland security adviser
  • Dr. Michael Vickers, former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • Adam. James “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr., former Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman

Full text of the letter:

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