A House subcommittee’s findings surrounding an alleged “harassment campaign against Twitter” has captured the attention of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is calling for an explanation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
It was last week when the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government put out a report detailing how FTC chair Lina Khan helped send Twitter various controversial demands, including requests to identify various journalists.
Elon Musk reportedly characterized the FTC’s conduct as “a serious attack on the Constitution by a federal agency.”
Ironically, Cruz was seen several years ago encouraging the FTC to take action against Twitter. At the time, the Texas Senator was speaking out against the social media giant’s conduct under the watch of former CEO Jack Dorsey, who infamously admitted to his platform’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
.@tedcruz tells FTC: "[W]hen tech companies are holding themselves out to the public and customers as 'neutral public forums' and are actively engaged in hidden censorship, that is actively deceptive and the FTC has a great deal of authority to address deception." pic.twitter.com/fzIdjGoNeH
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) November 28, 2018
Now, a new letter signed by Cruz and Jordan is accusing the agency of going overboard in regard to its conduct surrounding Twitter in wake of its recent acquisition by Elon Musk.
“The protection of Americans’ personal data is important, and the FTC has a role in ensuring that companies do not mislead consumers about how their information is handled,” the letter read. “But the FTC’s legal authority does not include dictating entire swaths of corporate behavior under the guise of consent decree enforcement. Nor could it justify infringing on the First Amendment.”
BizPac Review reported that the subcommittee demonstrated that the FTC called for Twitter to turn over journalistic information in a request that could potentially violate the First Amendment, “including their work to expose abuse by Big Tech and the federal government.”
The government organization has dismissed the allegations, with a spokesperson commenting, “Protecting consumer’s privacy is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do.”
“It should come as no surprise that career staff at the commission are conducting a rigorous investigation into Twitter’s compliance with a consent order that came into effect long before Mr. Musk purchased the company,” added the spokesperson.
Lawmakers have reportedly demanded the FTC explain why it attempted to locate the identities of journalists who covered the Twitter Files.