A new voice has joined the growing chorus of calls for tech regulation in Silicon Valley: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Asked during a Thursday interview with Recode's Kara Swisher whether the "era of self-regulation" in the U.S. is over, Pelosi said, "It probably should be." She also hinted at plans for increased scrutiny on American tech giants and suggested that antitrust legislation could play a role. "I know there could be some clear lines that we see in our community, of companies that maybe could be easily broken up without having any impact, one on the other," Pelosi said. "I'm a big believer in the antitrust laws. I think that's very important for us to have them and to use them, and to subject those who should be subjected to it."

Pelosi also mentioned section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that internet platforms aren't responsible for the nature of the content they host, saying it could be removed in the near future. "It's a new era," she told Swisher, referencing a recent slew of tech regulations in the U.K.

Pelosi's statements echo another recent call for tech regulation, perhaps from a more surprising source: Mark Zuckerberg, who published a Washington Post op-ed on the subject in March. "Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech," Zuckerberg wrote. "And frankly I agree."

As House Speaker, Pelosi is one of the most powerful politicians in America, responsible for setting the Democratic agenda in the U.S. House of Representatives. She also represents the 12th district of California in San Francisco--right next to California's 18th district, where most Silicon Valley companies are headquartered. That district is also represented by a Democrat, Anna Eshoo, who has served in that role since 1993.

Published on: Apr 12, 2019