House GOP leadership cautions tech on net neutrality: report

Greg Nash

Republican House leadership told Google, Amazon and Facebook that their pursuit of pro-net neutrality policies could affect GOP willingness to work with the technology companies on other policy issues, according to Axios.  

Two sources told the publication that the exchange had happened in a meeting prior to the net neutrality “Day of Action” scheduled in protest against a planned rollback of the rules.

Republican staffers from Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (La.) offices, along with the House Republican Conference staffers, and a staffer from the House Energy and Commerce Committee were in attendance.

{mosads}The conversation comes amid major tech companies trying to straddle the line between supporting issues like net neutrality — which they have traditionally supported but affect them less now as multi-billion dollar corporations — and issues such as privacy, encryption and immigration policies, which have significant impacts on their bottom line.

Google and Facebook, despite announcing their official participation in the Day of Action, did not include their logos on the official Day of Action website.

Compared to other tech companies, the three also took minimal steps to support the day. Websites such as Vimeo, Reddit and Netflix prominently displayed banners on their homepage directing users to more information on net neutrality and actions they could take to support the measures.

Google sent an email out to users who had already subscribed to its updates on net neutrality, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote short posts on it, and Amazon included a small message tucked away on their homepage.  

Facebook, Google and Amazon declined to comment.

This story was updated at 5:35 p.m.

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