The Senate Judiciary deployed U.S. Marshals to serve subpoenas compelling top big tech CEOs to testify before Congress after allegedly refusing to cooperate.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Monday that subpoenas were issued to the CEOs of Discord, Snap and X (formerly Twitter) to testify at a Dec. 6 committee hearing on the prevalence of online child sexual exploitation.
“In a remarkable departure from typical practice, Discord and X have further refused to cooperate by accepting service of the subpoenas on behalf of their CEOs, requiring the Committee to enlist the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service to personally serve the subpoenas,” the announcement Tuesday read.
“Since the beginning of this Congress, our Committee has rallied around a key bipartisan issue: protecting children from the dangers of the online world. It’s at the top of every parent’s mind, and Big Tech’s failure to police itself at the expense of our kids cannot go unanswered,” the senators said in a joint statement.
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“At our February hearing on protecting children’s safety online, we promised Big Tech that they’d have their chance to explain their failures to protect kids. Now’s that chance,” the statement said.
The senators said that after “repeated refusals to appear during several weeks of negotiations,” they issued subpoenas to to Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., and Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X.
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The committee remains in discussion with Meta and TikTok and expects their CEOs — Mark Zuckerberg and Shou Zi Chew — will agree to testify voluntarily.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., co-author of the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act, said that the profits of social media give the companies “every incentive” to keep “hiding their bad behavior from Congress.”
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“Time and time again, we’ve seen Big Tech refuse to show accountability for the harms their platforms cause kids. From lobbying against efforts to pass strong bipartisan legislation like the Kids Online Safety Act to burying their own internal research, Big Tech will stop at nothing to continue profiting off our kids,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital.
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“I find it reprehensible, but in no way surprising, that the Judiciary Committee had to send U.S. Marshals to deliver the subpoenas. These companies have every incentive to continue hiding their bad behavior from Congress,” she said.