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A top legal advisor to President Joe Biden argued that the Chinese Communist Party’s approach to internet censorship was “largely correct,” insisting that the U.S. “government must play a large role” in the “monitoring and speech control” on Big Tech platforms. Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith, tapped for the president’s exploratory commission on reforming the U.S. Supreme Court, argued in an August 2020 Atlantic op-ed that “in the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.” Throughout the piece, Goldsmith calls for the U.S. government to play a more active role with internet and social media censorship, appearing to invoke the Chinese Communist Party as a model: The public internet in its first two decades seemed good for open societies and bad for closed ones. But this conventional wisdom turned out to be mostly backwards. China and other authoritarian states became adept at reverse engineering internet architecture to enhance official control over digital networks in their countries and thus over their populations.

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