The man who coined net neutrality is heading back to work for the government. President Joe Biden has appointed Columbia law professor Tim Wu to the White House’s National Economic Council. According to The New York Times, he’ll serve as a special assistant to the president, advising him on technology and competition policy. It’s an appointment that does not require approval from the Senate.
Happy to say I’m joining the Biden White House to work on Technology and Competition Policy at the National Economic Council. Putting this twitter feed on hold for now — so long!
— Tim Wu (@superwuster) March 5, 2021
While he’s best known for advocating for a free and open internet, Wu has also called for the breakup of Facebook and other Big Tech companies in more recent years. In 2018, he published The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. There he argues the concentration of economic power in just a few companies has led to the current political climate of low wages and extreme nationalism.
This is not Wu’s first stint in government, nor is it his first time on the National Economic Council. He was also a member of the organization during the Obama administration, which did little to check the growth of companies like Facebook and Amazon. “I worked in the Obama administration, and I worked in antitrust, so I will take some personal blame here, but we have not provided the merger oversight we should have,” he said of his time on the Council in a 2019 interview.