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June 14, 2022 | The American Prospect

Mekedas Belayneh

Op-Ed

Department of CommerceRevolving DoorTech

Big Tech’s Back Door to Digital Trade Rules

The Department of Commerce is currently conducting digital trade talks with nations from the Indo-Pacific and Europe, with negotiations led by its secretary, Gina Raimondo. Through her role as lead negotiator in President Biden’s newly established Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and one-year-old U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), Raimondo is poised to influence global trade policies.

May 17, 2022

Press Release

Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentIndependent AgenciesTech

Coalition Tells DOJ: Don’t Bend to Google’s Bullying, Grant Kanter a Recusal Waiver Now

The Revolving Door Project and 27 groups sent a letter to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Friday, urging her to promptly issue a recusal waiver for Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter to work on the Department’s case against Google. The groups, including the American Economic Liberties Project, Demand Progress, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, emphasized that ethics law does not require Jonathan Kanter to recuse and that Google’s attempts to insist otherwise is an effort to “bully regulators into submission.” 

May 16, 2022

Letter

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentTech

Coalition Urges DOJ to Grant Jonathan Kanter a Waiver to Lead on Google Cases

We write to you as a coalition of organizations committed to holding anti-competitive behavior accountable. As a decorated antitrust lawyer committed to the public interest, Jonathan S. Kanter has the background needed to be a strong Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ). We are thus alarmed that Mr. Kanter was barred from participating in DOJ scrutiny of Google while the DOJ determines whether to ask for his recusal at the behest of the embattled company. Accordingly, we urge the DOJ to provide Mr. Kanter with a waiver to allow him to participate in DOJ scrutiny of Google’s anti-competitive behavior.

March 28, 2022

Mekedas Belayneh

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchTech

The DOJ Should Follow Its Own Guidance on FOIA Administration

The celebration of Sunshine Week earlier this month underscored the importance of the continued effort to ensure effective administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its central role for open democracy. Passed by Congress in 1966, FOIA allows citizens to request unpublished records and information from the federal government. Watchdog organizations have long relied on records obtained from FOIA requests to hold the government accountable to public interests. But, the system comes with a plethora of flaws that prevents adequate timeliness and transparency. Endless backlogs, increased usage of exemptions, partially redacted documents, and outright denials leave much to be desired in the administration of FOIA today.

February 01, 2022

Letter

Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentTech

Coalition Calls On Secretary Raimondo to Release Calendars

We write to express our concern about your refusal to release your calendars and its implications for public trust in your department and this administration. As a public servant, the American people have a right to know who you meet with, when you meet with them, and what you discuss. In the absence of proactive disclosure, and with other routes to obtaining this information subject to extensive delays, the public is being left in the dark about who may be influencing the country’s trade and economic policy, and how. This is all the more alarming in light of your recent comments that favored Big Tech and contradicted Biden administration policy. We ask that you immediately address this grave threat to public trust by releasing your calendars, retroactively and at regular intervals moving forward. 

December 07, 2021

Eleanor Eagan

Press Release

Department of JusticeTech

Watchdog Requests Correspondence Concerning Senior DOJ Officials’ Recusals

Today, the Revolving Door Project issued Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records reflecting any ethics advice given to any Senate-confirmed Department of Justice (DOJ) officials. The Project also requested any ethics advice given to Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General Anita Singh, whose husband is a member of Google’s antitrust defense team at law firm Vinson & Elkins. The Project is interested in which potential conflicts of interest do or don’t trigger ethics concerns within the Department, particularly as Big Tech companies engage in a cynical and specious campaign to use ethics rules to tie the hands of antitrust enforcers.  

November 03, 2021

Letter

Anti-MonopolyTech

Penn Law Should Require Faculty to Disclose Outside Funding Sources, Letter Argues

On November 2, the Revolving Door Project led a coalition of seven organizations in a letter to Penn Law Dean Theodore Ruger. The letter calls on the law school to require its faculty to “clearly disclose any compensation or funding they receive from companies, either direct or indirect (e.g., from a foundation or organization largely funded by a corporation or corporate officer associated with a specific corporation with a stake in the work in question).”