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Letter: Antitrust legislation needs better understanding

By Ryan Easton - | Sep 29, 2021

STK - Letter to the Editor

A heated topic currently being debated is antitrust bills and the effects they will have on innovation and the economy. However, it’s important we also take a careful look at national security. Antitrust legislation would help foreign competitors, including Chinese and Russian companies, by placing strict restrictions exclusively on U.S. tech.

Last week, twelve former top U.S. national security officials urged Congress to pause on a package of antitrust bills to study how breaking up tech companies could harm the U.S. in its competition with China. They say that imposing severe restrictions exclusively on U.S. tech will pave the way for a tech landscape controlled by China.

Additionally, ransomware has become a major national security issue, and the threat of a cyberattack isn’t limited to the military or government. In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported almost 800,000 complaints with losses totaling $4.2 billion. This year, ransomware groups launched many high-profile attacks, including the Colonial Pipeline, one of the world’s largest beef suppliers, schools, and hospitals. The cybersecurity industry is already stretched thin, and antitrust legislation will only add to the problem.

Antitrust bills come with many unintended consequences that affect consumers, the public, and national security. Utah’s Congressional Delegation needs to consult with House and Senate intelligence committees and federal agencies to understand national security suggestions before voting on antitrust legislation that could have severe consequences.

Ryan Easton, West Jordan

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