Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, during a field hearing in New York, April 17, 2023.

Stephanie Keith | bloomberg | Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, threatened executive action against Mr Google That could include the company’s contempt for Congress for failing to provide documents subpoenaed by the committee to identify the tech company’s communications with the Biden administration.

In a letter to a Google lawyer shared exclusively with CNBC, Jordan called the company’s commitment so far “inadequate” and demanded that it turn over more information. Jordan warned that if the company does not fully adhere to its new May 22 deadline, “the committee may have to consider using one or more enforcement mechanisms.”

Jordan has issued subpoenas to CEOs of parent company Google the alphabetAnd AmazonAnd appleAnd meta And Microsoft In February, they demanded that communications be handed over to the US government “to understand how and to what extent the executive branch coerced and colluded with corporations and other intermediaries to censor speech.” Jordan required companies to comply by March 23. He made the request after initially asking the companies to hand over the information voluntarily, but said they had not adequately complied.

While several other tech giants have been called out in connection with the commission’s investigation, others have so far appeared more responsive than Google to the demands, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Congress Individuals can be despised To refuse to provide information requested by the Committee. Doing so requires a committee vote and then a simple majority vote. Republicans currently hold a majority in the House of Representatives 222-213.

Criminal contempt cases can be referred to the Justice Department, or Congress can seek a civil judgment from a federal court to try to enforce the subpoena, according to a 2017 statute. paper From the Congressional Research Service.

The committee may also seek other actions against Google, such as impeaching the company’s management or trying to restrict federal dollars from going to Google in future legislation.

In the letter, Jordan outlined several ways Alphabet failed to comply adequately with the committee’s demands.

He said Alphabet “thwarted the panel’s review of responsive materials by unilaterally redacting key information necessary to understand the context and content of the material.”

Alphabet did not confirm that those revisions included privileged information, according to Jordan, and the committee is asking that the uncertified documents be turned over.

Jordan said that the company recently placed some documents in the “reading room” in a way that prevents and frustrates the committee’s understanding and use of those documents and does not abide by the terms of the summons without the approval of the committee. “

He wrote that Alphabet produced 4,000 pages of documents in response to the subpoena. But those documents do not yet include a “tangible volume” of the several types of communications that the commission assumes Google will have. These include communications with other social media platforms about content moderation, documents from other subsidiary companies of Alphabet, communications via messaging services other than email and communications between employees about any contact with the executive branch of the US government.

“The release of the Twitter files demonstrated the breadth of the executive branch’s outreach and coordination with tech companies regarding content moderation,” Jordan wrote, referring to reports about internal documents that Twitter owner Elon Musk made available to a hand-selected group of journalists when he took over the company. “We are skeptical that Alphabet’s interactions with the federal government where it was pressed were less of a concern than Twitter’s.”

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

WATCH: Could Chinese ChatGPT clones give it an edge over the US in an AI arms race?

Could Chinese ChatGPT clones give it an edge over the US in an AI arms race?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *