Cantwell Statement on Vote to Authorize Subpoenas for Facebook, Twitter, Google CEOs

Commerce Committee Ranking Member agreed to authorize subpoenas after tech’s role in privacy, decline of local journalism were added to agenda

October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement on the committee’s vote to authorize subpoenas for the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

“There is a lot we want to talk to tech platforms about, like privacy and anti-competitive media practices. I thank the Chairman for broadening the subpoena to cover these issues. Section 230 deserves a serious thoughtful discussion. But the hearing should not be used to try to have a chilling effect on social media platforms who are taking down false COVID information or hate speech.

“Our report on the value of local journalism and unfair competitive practices of tech platforms will be released before the hearing. This report and our privacy bill, S. 2968, will now be part of the discussion.”

In her remarks at the hearing, Cantwell called for the tech leaders to testify about privacy and the impact of the platforms on local news, while also warning against interfering with the efforts the companies are taking to combat fake and dangerous information encouraging violence by extremist groups, threatening the right to vote, and lying about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video of Senator Cantwell’s full statement from the hearing can be found HERE and the transcript is available HERE.