A former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is helping former Facebook employee Frances Haugen lobby European lawmakers.
Ben Scott, former Clinton adviser and executive director of anti-Big Tech lobbying group Reset, has been working with Haugen since shortly before she testified in the Senate, Politico first reported in October. Reset is funded by Luminate, an advocacy organization operated by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, as well as the Sandler Foundation, according to its website.
The group receives as much as $10 million a year in Luminate funding, according to Politico.
“She wants to tell her story to European lawmakers, and we know who she should talk to,” Scott told Politico.
Reset’s mission, according to its website, includes efforts to “silence hate speech,” “expose disinformation” and “block toxic harassment.” Scott said Europe’s more aggressive attitude towards tech regulation made the continent a natural target for lobbying efforts.
“As an American whistleblower from an American company, it was natural for her to first talk to American officials,” Scott, who is based in Europe along with the majority of his 7-person team. “But she knows that Europe is where the rules are coming from. She knows that here is where the action is.”
Haugen testified before both the European Parliament and the United Kingdom Parliament over the past few weeks, urging lawmakers to take action against major tech companies like Facebook and pointing the alleged harms of “online misinformation.”
Haugen, who is herself a Democratic donor, is also working with Democratic operatives, including Bill Burton, a former Obama administration official and founder of consulting firm Bryson Gillette, and Democratic political action committee Priorities USA Action. Burton is listed as a public affairs representative for the Center of Humane Technology, which has pushed Facebook and other social media platforms to remove more misinformation and harmful content.
Scott previously served as coordinator of the Tech & Innovation Policy Advisory Group for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and he worked as a policy adviser for the State Department in the Obama administration.
In comments to Politico, Scott dismissed his past as a Democratic operative as having any bearing on his work with Haugen.
“I would truly regret if my own professional history undermined what Frances Haugen is trying to do,” he said. “Her motivation is not partisan. My motivation is not partisan.”
Neither Reset nor Haugen immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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