Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Republicans subpoena Big Tech CEOs over censorship claims

(Al Jazeera Media Network) United States legislators have subpoenaed top tech executives for documents and communications as part of a Republican bid to show collusion between Silicon Valley and Washington to suppress the free speech of conservatives.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee, led by Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, wrote to the chief executives of Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft today (Wednesday) demanding documents, including any White House communications related to the regulation of content, by March 23.

“The House Judiciary Committee has repeatedly attempted to engage with the five companies since last December. Unfortunately, the companies have not adequately complied with our requests,” the panel said in a statement.

“Congress has an important role in protecting and advancing fundamental free speech principles, including by examining how private actors co-ordinate with the government to suppress First Amendment-protected speech.”

Jordan and other conservatives have accused Big Tech of suppressing conservative speech and colluding with the Biden administration. The White House and leading tech companies have rejected the claims.

Microsoft and Meta said they had already begun producing documents. Microsoft said it was “engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith.”

After taking over the House, Republicans created a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government as part of an effort to ramp up scrutiny of Big Tech.

Jordan wrote related letters to the companies in December, when the House was in Democratic hands and before he became chair.

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