BREAKING: House Judiciary demands Google comply with subpoena over suppression of free speech

"Alphabet's compliance with the subpoena to date is insufficient."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
The House Judiciary Committee has reached out to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to demand that the company comply with a congressional subpoena so they can investigate the extent to which the federal government colluded with the tech giant to censor Americans' speech online.

"Alphabet's compliance with the subpoena to date is insufficient," the committee writes, noting that the company has produced merely 4,049 pages of material, much of which is redacted.

"These redactions do not appear to be based on any applicable privilege," the committee notes, "because Alphabet has asserted none." The committee requires Alphabet to produce documents that do not have redactions and omissions.

Additionally, Alphabet's method of forking over the documents, through use of a "reading room," "prevents and frustrates the Committee's understanding and use of the documents and fails to comply with the terms of the subpoena without the Committee's consent."

Material the committee is still seeking from Alphabet includes "...responsive communications with other social media platforms related to content moderation," "responsive documents in the custody of its subsidiaries," "responsive communications with the Global Disinformation Index and other third-party entities," as well as material across a host of messaging applications, from email to Slack, to Microsoft Teams, Signal, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, etc.

The committee also demands the "internal communications" among Alphabet employees "referring or relating to any documents or communications from the Executive Branch of the United States Government, whether public or non-public, referring or relating to the moderation, deletion, suppression, restriction or reduced circulation of content."

The subpoena from the committee comes in the wake of the Twitter Files, documents and analysis of communications from Twitter that were released after Elon Musk took over the platform. 

Those files revealed that there had been substantial conversations and communication, if not outright collusion, between government entities eager to have social media companies prioritize their messaging over the voices of other Americans and Twitter execs and content moderators.

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