Internet security expert: 'I don’t think it’s right to say’ tech giants are politically biased

Internet security expert Matt Prince says it isn’t right to say that tech giants are biased, despite criticism from Republican lawmakers who claim that the platforms are prejudiced against conservative viewpoints.

"I don’t think it’s right to say that they have one perspective that is necessarily conservative or liberal based on the U.S. point of view,” Prince told Hill.TV co-host Buck Sexton during an interview that aired on Wednesday.

Prince, who is the CEO and founder of Cloudflare, argues that this way of thinking is “imposing a very U.S.-centric view of the world,” and said many lawmakers on Capitol Hill forget that these tech giants have to appeal to a much broader, global audience.

“If you look at a Google or a Facebook or other companies – they are massive global companies and they don’t exist just in the United States and they don’t look at the United States just from a viewpoint of the United States,” Prince said.

Even though Cloudflare removed neo-Nazi website the “Daily Stormer” from its service last year, Prince said the company has since been able to talk to policymakers and reevaluate its role, saying he believes it's "very dangerous" for a company like Cloudflare to decide what is or not allowed on the internet itself. 

Prince had previously said a decision to remove websites like "Daily Stormer" could be dangerous to the future of free speech on the Internet.

During the Hill.TV interview, Prince explained that internet security companies like Cloudflare don't function in the same way as tech giants, saying that platforms like Facebook are more editorial in nature when it comes to deciding whether or not a certain piece of content should be on their platform. 

“While I totally respect the decisions for an Apple or a Facebook, which are much more editorial platforms in terms of deciding whether or not a certain piece of content is or is not allowed online, when you have the actual infrastructure of the Internet making editorial decisions that’s particularly dangerous,” Prince said in response to its question over why it continues to allow Infowars’ Alex Jones to use its service.

 Conservatives have been accusing Silicon Valley of political bias for over a year now, dating back to a 2017 GOP convention where former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon warned of the progressive left in the state and “the lords of technology in Silicon Valley.”

In May, the accusations intensified after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) criticized social media and technology giants, accusing them of being "rigged to censor conservative voices."

Cloudflare helps “make the Internet work the way it should,” and protects websites against cyberattacks. Their clients include everyone from blogs and Fortune 500 companies to government sites.

— Tess Bonn