Is Biden’s appointment of a pioneering young lawyer bad news for big tech?

Answer: hopefully, yes.

This morning’s Observer column:

Arrayed on big screens before the members of the subcommittee are the four bosses of the aforementioned tech giants: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, then midway through his Star Trek makeover; Tim Cook of Apple, looking like the clean-living lad who never understood the locker-room jokes; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, wearing his trademark glued-on hairdo; and the Google boss, Sundar Pichai, every inch the scholarship boy who can’t understand why he’s been arrested by the Feds. And on the vast mahogany bench towering above these screened moguls sits David Cicilline, subcommittee chairman and the politician who has overseen the investigation.

To be honest, I was watching out of duty and with low expectations. All the previous congressional interrogations of Zuckerberg and co had alternated between political grandstanding and farce. I expected much the same from this encounter. And then I noticed a young woman wearing a black mask standing behind Cicilline. She looked vaguely familiar, but it took me a few moments before I twigged that she was Lina Khan. At which point I sat up and started taking notes.

I had been following her for years, ever since a paper she had published as a graduate student in the Yale Law Journal in January 2017…

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