Apple chief Tim Cook is one of five big tech CEOs who have been subpoenaed by the House Judiciary as part of an investigation into communications between Joe Biden's administration and big tech and social media companies.
The House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) "subpoenaed the chief executive officers of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft for documents and communications relating to the federal government’s reported collusion with Big Tech to suppress free speech," a press release from the House Judiciary Committee stated on Wednesday.
The release claims that despite repeated attempts since December to engage Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Microsoft, and the artist formerly known as Facebook, Meta, "the companies have not adequately complied with our requests."
"Holding big tech accountable"
The release says that 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 release says that the subpoenas, sent to Sundar Pichai, Andy Jassy, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Satya Nadella, are "the first step in holding Big Tech accountable."
Cook and the others will be required to hand over all requested documents and communications by March 23.
As the WSJ, this forms part of a House Republican investigation "to scrutinize communications between the Biden administration and big technology and social-media companies to probe whether they amounted to the censorship of legitimate viewpoints on issues such as Covid-19 policy that ran counter to White House policy."
According to WSJ, which has seen the subpoenas, Tim Cook and others will have to provide "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 is also seeking information about "the individuals at the companies who were responsible for developing policies on content moderation, and people who have communicated with the executive branch of the government."
iMore has reached out to Apple for comment on the matter.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9