Sen. Wicker Seeks to Compel Big Tech CEO Testimony

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Architect of the Capitol)

The chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee wants to force Big Tech CEOs to testify for an upcoming hearing.

That is according to an announcement of an executive session markup Oct. 1 dealing with that issue.

While the agenda for the meeting is subject to change, according to the committee, currently it contains a single item: "Authorization to subpoena the attendance of witnesses for the purpose of a hearing."

Related: Trump Says Big Tech Is Waging War on Free Speech, Free Enterprise

The witnesses Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) wants to subpoena are Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

It is the latest in a flood of social media-related moves in Washington as the Congress considers Big Tech's role in online extremism, political censorship, data handling and much more.

Back in July, Pichai and Zuckerberg joined Apple's Tim Cook and Amazon's Jeff Bezos for a virtual House hearing with the Big Tech giants.

They may be a little wary, and weary, after that buzz saw of a hearing, in which legislators were in agreement that the companies had too much power and that something needed to be done to at least shake up, or even break up, that new tech order. 

Twitter is in Republicans' dog house, including Top Dog Donald Trump, after it flagged the President's tweets on mail-in ballots and protestors.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.