‘Abuse’ of Power! Cruz Probes Big Tech-Gov’t Collusion Against Free Speech

March 31st, 2023 12:40 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is calling on nine tech companies to answer whether they colluded with the federal government to censor Americans.

Sen. Cruz, who is a ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, announced in a March 29 press release that he sent letters to nine tech giants requesting information on “coordination with more than 40 government officials” to investigate, censor and flag content and user accounts on the internet.

The letters were addressed to Google, Meta, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Reddit, Yahoo!, Pinterest, Medium, and Wikipedia and asked the companies to report whether each had had contact with federal agencies and officials. Cruz further asked about federal requests to “review, monitor, investigate, promote, or restrict content” for topics such as COVID-19, the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, and “civil unrest,” the press release said.

Cruz’s press release listed Federal agencies that may have colluded with Big Tech to silence users. The list of potential censorship colluders included the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Departments of Justice and Defense, the CIA, the FDA, Office of the Surgeon General, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Cruz specifically cited The Twitter Files, which he said continue to “reveal the extent to which U.S. government employees, acting in an official capacity, applied pressure to, as well as coordinated with, social media companies in an effort to restrict Americans’ speech.” The Twitter Files revealed that government officials and agencies including the FBI, HHS, and CDC worked directly with Big Tech to censor Americans.

“Instead of focusing on their taxpayer-funded remit to protect and promote the interests of all Americans, agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of State (DOS) turned their attention to micromanaging what Americans can post and see online,” Cruz insisted. “Often, this censorship directly interfered in legitimate public debate around issues of national significance, such as elections and the evolving science on COVID-19.”

The Twitter Files and the Media Research Center’s own research support the senator’s claims. A November 2020 MRC poll found that Big Tech censorship of the Hunter Biden scandal helped steal the election for Joe Biden. MRC Free Speech America further found over 800 cases of Big Tech censoring the COVID-19 debate online between March 2020 and February 2022. The Twitter Files have shown that various government entities played a role in censoring those two topics particularly.

Cruz called this tech-government censorship “a shocking abuse of government power,” and a “blatant infringement on Americans’ First Amendment rights.” He noted that the Supreme Court declared in the case Texas v. Johnson that “‘[t]he government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.’” Unfortunately, Cruz said, citing The Twitter Files again, “in some cases, the government attempted to accomplish exactly that.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech and government agencies be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and provide transparency. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.