Republican House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) made his move and subpoenaed the chief executives of five U.S. Big Tech companies.
Jordan is demanding information on how they moderate content on their platforms.
The congressman said the Committee is seeking to understand “how and to what extent the Executive Branch coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech.”
Twitter has not been issued a subpoena after CEO Elon Musk publicly blew the whistle on the censorship practices of the company’s former executives in collusion with the government and groups linked to it.
The House Judiciary Committee issued a statement that said: “Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) subpoenaed the chief executive officers of Alphabet [Google], Amazon, Apple, Meta [Facebook, Instagram], and Microsoft for documents and communications relating to the federal government’s reported collusion with Big Tech to suppress free speech.
“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.
“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.
“These subpoenas are the first step in holding Big Tech accountable.
“Today’s subpoenas require Sundar Pichai, Andy Jassy, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Satya Nadella to turn over all requested documents and communications by March 23, 2023.”
🚨HUGE BREAKING NEWS: @Jim_Jordan subpoenas Big Tech CEOs. pic.twitter.com/WuOWccu2ZC
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 15, 2023
“We have started producing documents, are engaged with the committee, and committed to working in good faith,” said Kate Frischmann, spokeswoman for Microsoft.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Jordan, an Ohio Republican who chairs both the Judiciary panel and the newly created House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, asked the companies to produce documents and communications by March 23 that show any communication between them and the executive branch of the U.S. government relating to moderation, deletion, suppression or reduced circulation of content.
Mr. Jordan first asked for these documents last year before Republicans formally took the majority and is now stepping up his requests for them as chairman who has the power to subpoena documents.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 15, 2023