House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan has sent subpoenas to the CEOs of the five largest tech companies in the United States. Each of the Big Tech companies, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), and Meta Platforms (Facebook) must provide information on how they moderate content to promote free speech.
The move is part of a wider initiative from House Republicans that involves investigating how the Biden administration communicates with Big Tech companies. Republicans says they are concerned the companies censor legitimate views and limit free speech that goes against White House policies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the subpoena letters were sent to Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), Andy Jassy (Amazon), Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), and Tim Cook (Apple).
The CEOs will need to respond to the queries within the letters. However, it seems some already have and say they are already collaborating with the Judiciary panel:
“We have started producing documents, are engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith,” says Kate Frischmann, spokeswoman for Microsoft.
Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Meta, told the Wall Street Journal the company has “already begun producing documents in response to the committee's requests and will continue to do so moving forward.”
Where is Twitter?
It is interesting that the subpoenas cover the biggest tech names in the U.S., but also the largest social networks in the country, apart from one. Twitter is oddly absent. Certainly, there has been plenty of controversy on the platform and how it regulates free speech in the past. However, since it was taken over by Elon Musk last year, Republicans are easing their stance.
Musk is seen as an ally to conservative views and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan is even putting the micro-blogging platform as one the other Big Tech companies should emulate. He says other companies should follow Twitter's lead. Since Musk's $47bn acquisition, the company has been giving journalists internal documents known as the “Twitter files”
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