Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) removed a loophole from legislation that would have allowed Apple and Google to keep censoring in the name of “digital safety.”
The bill, the Open App Markets Act, protects the ability of app developers to “sideload” apps onto iPhones and Android devices, bypassing the chokehold of the two tech giants, who control 99 percent of smartphone operating systems worldwide. An early version of the bill contained a big loophole: Google and Apple would still have been able to boot apps from their marketplaces if they did so in the name of “digital safety” — a term wide-open to interpretation, that has often been used by Big Tech as a pretext to censor conservatives. Even for non-political apps, Apple and Google’s current systems represent a strangehold on their businesses. ... The removal of this censorship loophole, which was the number-one point of conservative criticism of the Open App Markets act, would be the second big win for Sen. Blackburn on tech policy this week. ... Sen. Blackburn was the first Republican Senator to come out against the bill, which would establish a gravy train of financial handouts and other favors from Big Tech to the media industry, when it was first introduced in the spring of 2021.