Big Tech CEOs hit with subpoenas over censorship claims

Big Tech CEOs hit with subpoenas over censorship claims

Big Tech CEOs hit with subpoenas over censorship claims

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U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued subpoenas to chief executives of some of the tech industry’s biggest companies on Wednesday, as Republicans on the committee raise concerns about content moderation and free speech issues.

The letters (PDF) demand that Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, ​​Apple CEO Tim Cook, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hand over documents related to the communications between businesses and the Biden administration. Republican lawmakers have accused the companies of colluding to suppress conservative voices on their platforms, a claim the companies have denied.

“To craft effective legislation, such as the potential enactment of new statutory limits on the executive’s ability to work with big tech to restrict the flow of content and deplatform users, the Judiciary Commission must first understand how and to what extent the branch executive coerced and colluded with corporations and other intermediaries to censor speech,” Jordan’s letters to CEOs state.

Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, became chairman of the Judiciary Committee last month after the GOP seized control of the House, a position that includes the power to issue subpoenas. Jordan’s letters set March 23 as the deadline for the companies to hand over the documents.

Jordan suggested in Wednesday’s letters that Twitter CEO Elon Musk was exempt from subpoenas because the company “recently set a benchmark for Big Tech company transparency on censorship interactions with government.” through its release of internal communications dubbed the Twitter Files. , who discussed the platform’s decision to limit the scope of a New York Post article on President Biden’s sonHunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

A Microsoft spokesperson said it had “begun producing materials, engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith.”

Neither Alphabet, Apple nor Facebook immediately responded to a request for comment.


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