Imagine a man on a beach who is on fire. Now imagine this man running away from the sea because he is afraid of drowning. The fear of drowning is rational, and a real possibility, but given the circumstances, his choice seems to be a reckless prioritization of concerns.
This is an apt picture of the current debate on the national security implications of Congress’ antitrust push against “Big Tech.” There are legitimate concerns about the influence and actions of American technology companies, but these concerns have to be considered in the context of other, more pressing priorities if we hope to avoid both drowning and immolation.
Recently, 12 national security leaders warnedCongress that it needs to better understand the national security implications of a slew of antitrust bills currently under consideration. Here’s the crux of their argument:
Congress risks undermining America’s key advantage vis-à-vis China by pursuing domestic legislation that threatens to impede U.S. companies and their ability to pursue such innovation. Recent congressional antitrust proposals that target specific American technology firms would degrade critical R&D priorities, allow foreign competitors to displace leaders in the U.S. tech sector both at home and abroad, and potentially put sensitive U.S. data and IP in the hands of Beijing.