Biden loads transition team with tech execs — but Facebook, Google and Apple are notably absent
- President-elect Joe Biden's campaign released a list of names on Tuesday of people tapped to help manage the transition of power from President Donald Trump.
- The list featured many senior people from the tech industry, including executives from Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.
- But there were no names from Facebook, Google, Apple, or Twitter on the list.
- Experts have suggested Biden could crack down on the tech industry, and the fact that just one of the five-biggest tech companies — Amazon — is represented on the list could be telling.
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President-elect Joe Biden is relying on Big Tech to help oversee his transition to the White House.
On Tuesday, he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris released a list of names for their "Agency Review Teams." These teams will go into each government agency and plan a smooth handover of power from President Donald Trump's administration to the Biden administration.
But nobody from Facebook, Twitter, or Apple appears on the list.
The list contains no names from Google, but it does have an employee of Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company owned by Alphabet, Google's parent company.
The list also contains employees of big Silicon Valley-linked philanthropy organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, and Schmidt Futures.
The names on the list are not all guaranteed jobs inside the Biden administration once the transition is complete — although it is likely that at least some of them will stay on.
The names do not give much of a hint about how Biden will handle Big Tech in office, but the fact that just one of the five-biggest tech companies — Amazon — is represented could be telling.
Experts have suggested the Biden-Harris administration could crack down on the industry, with a particular emphasis on privacy regulation, consumer protections, and antitrust. A lack of big-name companies could signal Biden doesn't want those firms to have too much say in the early workings of his administration.
Ars Technica notes some of the names on the list are veterans of Barack Obama's administration who are now returning to politics. Amazon Web Services exec Mark Schwartz, Dell CTO Ann Dunkin, Stripe operations exec Arthur Pl ews, and LinkedIn's Senior Director of North America Policy Nicole Isaac all had stints as Obama administration officials before moving into tech.
On Monday, Bill Russo, a top advisor on Biden's press team, published a series of tweets tearing into Facebook for the disinformation that has spread on its platform since Election Day.
The tweets reinforce the sense that the Biden administration could make the next four years uncomfortable for Facebook.
Biden told The New York Times in January that he wanted to revoke Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of US law that grants sweeping liability protections to tech companies for content posted on their platforms.
In that interview, Biden referred to Facebook and the spread of misinformation on the platform. "It should be revoked because [Facebook] is not merely an internet company," he said. "It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false."
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