April 15, 2024

New Research: U.S. Voters Fear the National Security Consequences of Heightened Big Tech Regulation

By Kyler Rowzee


  • Heading into the November elections, U.S. voters in key battleground states do not consider regulating so-called “big tech” a top priority compared to more top of mind issues such as cost of living and protecting national security.
  • Unintended national security consequences of overreaching tech regulations include losing the U.S. global technological competitive edge globally and increasing vulnerabilities in key technological infrastructure.

Over the past four years, the largest U.S. tech companies have come under increased scrutiny by both Congress and the Biden Administration, particularly at the DOJ and FTC. In Congress, multiple measures against the U.S. tech industry have gained traction including work on frameworks to regulate artificial intelligence and bipartisan antitrust legislation leveled at big tech companies. 

Interestingly, new research from the American Edge Project finds that likely voters in competitive congressional races, such as CO-03, IA-03, and NY-17, rank regulating U.S. tech companies as a relatively low priority for the government to address, with only 45% listing the increasing size of so-called “big tech” companies as a concern they prioritize. In fact, voters appear overwhelmingly concerned with the negative consequences of tech regulation. For example, 89% of surveyed voters are concerned that government regulation of artificial intelligence would stymie its advancement, allowing China to surpass the U.S. in AI capabilities. This competitive edge could lead to China dominating the AI industry and using its advanced technology to harm U.S. national security. 

Additionally, if increased tech regulations stifle innovation by subjecting tech companies to more red tape, countries such as China and Russia may leap ahead of the U.S. in technological prowess. Voters appear to believe that adversaries would use such an advantage to inflict harm on critical infrastructure and meddle in democratic procedures. 

Excessive regulation of the technology industry, which plays a central role in economic and national security, could have far-reaching negative consequences that outweigh any perceived benefits. These numbers make clear that voters across the spectrum plan on rewarding candidates who consider their crucial objections to tech regulation and emphasize economic issues, no matter the political party.

Kyler Rowzee is a Research Intern at the RXN Group.

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