House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday subpoenaed five big tech CEOs to appear before Congress. At issue for committee Republicans are practiced by these companies that suppress users’ freedom of speech.
The subpoena letters were sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Each has until March 23 to turn over documents requested by the committee. Jordan and his colleagues asked for the communications to determine the level of collusion between the Biden administration and top tech companies in controlling speech.
Specifically, the letters requested writings concerning “moderation, deletion, suppression, restricting, or reducing circulation of content.”
Jordan further explained that the committee is gathering information to get to the bottom of the “extent the Executive Branch coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech.”
Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft were each sent a subpoena by the House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, alleging collusion with the government to suppress speech pic.twitter.com/o0sA7aw6sc
— Barchart (@Barchart) February 16, 2023
Twitter and new CEO Elon Musk were pointedly excluded from the subpoenas. Jordan related that the social media platform now sets the “benchmark” for transparency in Big Tech companies and their relationships with the federal government.
Among other issues, the committee is concerned with government attempts to control the discourse over COVID-19. Representatives are digging into the “weaponization of the federal government” as promised before the GOP took control of the House last month.
Jordan made similar requests late last year while serving on the Judiciary Committee, but now they come from his position as chairman.
The letters further noted that previous “conversations” between congressional staff and the companies took place but they had “not made any substantial steps toward compliance.”
Two of the companies said Wednesday that they had taken steps to comply. A Microsoft spokesperson told CBS News that the company has “started producing documents, (is) engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith.”
Meta produced a similar response to the subpoena.
This engagement with congressional oversight and Big Tech is long past due. As many already know through the “Twitter Files” releases, companies and the federal government operated in secrecy as gatekeepers, filtering out information that went against the preferred narrative.