The Epoch Times: Bipartisan Bill That May Help Chinese Avoid Censorship Heads to Senate Floor for Final Vote

February 8, 2022

The Epoch Times

Something rarely seen these days in Congress is about to happen. A major piece of legislation with bipartisan support that seeks to help people in China and America evade digital censorship is about to be voted on by the full Senate.

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the Open Apps Market Act of 2022 to the floor with a favorable recommendation for a final vote on passage. The vote hasn’t yet been scheduled, according to a spokesman for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), one of two principal co-sponsors.

Mike Davis, founder and president of the Internet Accountability Project, said in a statement after the judiciary panel vote: “Google and Apple, which have a combined market capitalization of $4 trillion, control 99 percent of the app marketplace and use their gatekeeper control to their own advantage at the expense of smaller companies and start-up apps. We saw their duopoly in action just last year with the swift, politically motivated takedown of Parler.

“Innovation and competition die at the hands of these tech giants, with consumers and small businesses suffering the brunt of their overwhelming power. This unequal playing field cannot stand any longer. Nearly 90 percent of developers favor legislation promoting a level playing field in the app marketplace. The Open App Markets Act would finally allow small businesses to compete with the behemoths of Big Tech.”

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