Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar on Sunday launched her bid for the Democratic nomination for president with an ambitious broadband policy platform -- including universal connectivity, net neutrality and online privacy.
“Way too many politicians have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the digital revolution,” Klobuchar said at a rally announcing her candidacy.
“We need to put some digital rules of the road into law when it comes to people's privacy,” she said. “For too long, the big tech companies have been telling you, 'Don't worry, we've got your back,' while your identities in fact are being stolen and your data mined.”
Her remarks about tech policy came in the course of a sprawling 24-minute speech that also addressed more long-standing Democratic priorities, including voting rights and gun control.
Klobuchar's broadband platform included calls for “net neutrality for all,” improved cybersecurity and better broadband deployment and adoption. “We need to end the digital divide by pledging to connect every household to the internet by 2022, and that means you, rural America,” she told the cheering crowd.
In the last few years, Klobuchar has emerged as one of Facebook's most vocal critics on Capitol Hill.
In November, she joined three other Senate Democrats in blasting the company over a report that it hired outside firms to undermine critics. “Both elected officials and the general public have rightfully questioned whether Facebook is capable of regulating its own conduct,” she and others wrote to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Earlier last year, news that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from millions of Facebook users spurred her to call for Zuckerberg to testify in Washington. "They say 'trust us,' but Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about what Facebook knew about misusing data.”
In 2017, Klobuchar co-sponsored a bill that would have required Facebook and other large online platforms to make disclosures about political ads.