CEOs of big tech hit with house subpoenas over claims of censorship. The subpoena letters accused the companies of colluding with the Biden-led administration in suppressing conservative voices.
CEOs of Big Tech Hit with House Subpoenas over Claims of Censorship
Jim Jordan, US House Judiciary Committee Chairman issued subpoenas on Wednesday to the chief executives of many of the biggest companies of the tech industry as Republicans on the committee press their concerns over issues on content moderation and free speech.
The letter which was in PDF format demanded that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft surrender documents that are related to communications between the companies and the Biden-led administration. The companies mentioned have been accused by Republican lawyers of colluding to suppress conservative voices on their various platforms, a claim which the companies however have denied.
Content of the Subpoena Letter to CEOs
“To develop effective legislation, such as the possible enactment of new statutory limits on the executive branch’s ability to work with big tech to restrict the circulation of content and deplatform users, the Committee on the Judiciary must first understand how and to what extent the executive branch coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech,” stated Jordan’s letters to the CEOs.
A Republican from Ohio, Jordan, turned chairman of the judiciary committee last month just after the GOP took control over the House of Representatives which is a position that includes the power to issue subpoenas. The letter by Jordan placed a deadline of March 23 for the mentioned companies to turn over the requested documents.
Twitter Was Exempted From the Subpoenas
Jordan in the letters on Wednesday suggested that Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter was exempted from the subpoenas due to the fact that the company “recently set a benchmark for how transparent Big Tech companies can be about interactions with the government over censorship” via its release of the internal communications dubbed the Twitter Files, which discussed the decision of the platform to limit the reach of a New York Post article in regards to President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden just ahead of the 2022 election.
A spokesperson from Microsoft said that it had “started producing documents, is engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith.”
Neither Alphabet (Google), Apple, nor Facebook responded immediately to a request for comment.