On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to the CEOs of five Big Tech giants, Meta's Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Apple's Tim Cook, and Amazon's Andy Jassy, demanding they divulge whether their platforms colluded with the federal government to censor free speech. The committee did not subpoena Twitter's Elon Musk at this time.
"Congress has an important role in protecting and advancing fundamental free speech principles, including by examining how private actors coordinate with the government to suppress First Amendment-protected speech," the House Judiciary Committee said in a press release. "These subpoenas are the first step in holding Big Tech accountable."
The committee went on to note that they had first approached the CEOs in December, calling their responses in the time since "woefully inadequate." Per the freshly issued subpoenas, they will have until March 23 to turn over "all requested documents and communications."
These include "communications between the [the company] and the Executive Branch, internal [company] communications discussing communications from the Executive Branch, and [company] communications with third parties that may have been working with the Executive Branch, in addition to other key information."
Jordan slammed each of the companies, reminding them that in contrast to their opaque policies, "Twitter recently set a benchmark for how transparent Big Tech companies can be about interactions with government over censorship."
"The Twitter Files," he continued, "have exposed how Big Tech and the federal government have worked hand in hand in ways that undermine First Amendment principles. Numerous internal documents from Twitter reflect the weaponization of the federal government’s power to censor speech online."
Jordan, who also chairs the newly formed Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, has long accused Big Tech of being "out to get conservatives," suggesting they were "increasingly willing to undermine First Amendment values by complying with the Biden Administration’s directives that suppress freedom of speech online."
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