Tech companies are worried an aging Congress can’t meet or even understand their demands.
Some members of Congress said age plays no factor in their regulatory abilities.
Younger members of Congress are beginning to take the lead in conversations on tech issues.
Read more from Insider’s “Red, White, and Gray” series.

The internet is a “series of tubes.” 

At least that’s how then Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican who was 81 years old at the time, tried to explain the World Wide Web on the Senate floor in 2006. The internet, he said, is not something you can just “dump things on. It’s not a big truck.”

In 2018, the late Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who was 84 at the time, asked the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his testimony after the Cambridge Analytica data leak how the popular social-media app makes money when it doesn’t charge users for the platform.

Zuckerberg reacted with a quizzical expression. 

“Senator, we run ads,” he deadpanned.

Over the years, big tech and social media have often stumped Congress. Many tech leaders, tech-policy experts, and lawmakers themselves argue that the increasingly advanced ages of those in office is partly to blame for the inadequacy of Washington’s regulatory efforts for an industry evolving at warp speed. 

“I’ve seen how fast all of this has changed, and it’s pretty disturbing, and we’re not willing to have more of a serious conversation,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a 49-year-old Connecticut Democrat and member of Generation X, told Insider. “I’m young enough that I know how to use the technology, but I’m old enough that I remember when it didn’t exist.”

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Tech’s ‘beef’ with baby boomers

As communications and technology grow ever more complex, Congress has been slow to craft policy that addresses urgent public concerns including data privacy, digital disinformation, net neutrality, and cryptocurrency.

Making laws that affect technology can be complicated, confusing even the most tech-savvy people. The tech sector has grown increasingly concerned about legislators’ lack of understanding when it comes to the industry’s needs.

“It’s really about trying to make the connection between a piece of technology and what it means for my constituents. And I think it’s incumbent upon executives to tell a good story, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Tech leaders dish on how asinine it is to try to describe their companies, products, and worth to Congress

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