Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai

The House Judiciary Committee has called out Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai by issuing a subpoena demanding the tech giant to cooperate with an investigation to determine the extent to which the federal government colluded with Alphabet to censor Americans’ speech online. The committee has deemed the compliance of Alphabet to be insufficient, which only produced a meager 4,049 pages of material, most of which have redactions.

Despite Alphabet’s assertion of privilege, the committee has noted that no applicable privilege is evident. Thus, Alphabet needs to provide the committee with documents without any redactions or omissions. Moreover, the use of a “reading room” to turn over documents prevents and frustrates the committee’s understanding and use, violating the terms of the subpoena without the committee’s consent.

The committee also requires Alphabet to provide access to “responsive communications with other social media platforms related to content moderation,” as well as “responsive documents in custody of its subsidiaries,” and “responsive communications with the Global Disinformation Index and other third-party entities.” The committee is also demanding material from various messaging applications, including those from email to Slack, to Microsoft Teams, Signal, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, among others.

Furthermore, the committee demands access to “internal communications” among Alphabet employees that allude to any Executive Branch communications, whether public or non-public, that relate to the moderation, deletion suppression, restriction, or reduced circulation of content. Meanwhile, the subpoena from the committee comes in the aftermath of the Twitter Files’ release, revealing communications between Twitter employees that Elon Musk took over on the platform.

In conclusion, the House Judiciary Committee has made a bold move to bring Alphabet into the line of fire, calling for alleged collusion with the federal government to censor Americans’ free speech online. With further investigations still ongoing, the future of tech giants’ compliance with these investigations has become a topic of concern.

By Grady Owen

After training a pack of Raptors on Isla Nublar, Owen Grady changed his name and decided to take a job as an entertainment writer. Now armed with a computer and the internet, Grady Owen is prepared to deliver the best coverage in movies, TV, and music for you.