What you need to know
- The U.S. House select committee investigating the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol has requested several companies to keep information regarding the attacks.
- Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are among the tech companies requested to keep data.
- The committee reportedly requested data regarding several members of Congress.
Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and several telecommunications companies have been asked to keep phone records and other data related to the attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The request asks companies to keep data from several Republican members of Congress, former President Donald Trump, and multiple members of the Trump family, according to CNN. The committee made the request on Monday, August 29, 2021.
The data of several members of Congress is reportedly part of the request. The names of the affected members of Congress are not known at this time.
Tim Mulvey, the spokesman of the committee, clarified that "The Select Committee is at this point gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by any individual."
The House select committee investigating the attacks made the request to several tech giants, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. In total, the committee has asked 35 telecommunications and social media companies to retain information. The panel asked the companies to keep "metadata, subscriber information, technical usage information, and content of communications for the listed individuals."
The letters to companies requesting to retain data ask for information regarding individuals who were "involved in organizing, funding, or speaking" at the "Stop The Steal" rallies in January (via The Washington Post). The letters also request information related to anyone "potentially involved with discussions of plans to challenge, delay, or interfere" with the election.
On Friday, August 27, 2021, the committee asked for "all reviews, studies, reports, data, analyses, and communications" related to misinformation related to the election, including content made by foreign actors, U.S. actors, and "domestic violent extremists."
The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind), claims that the panel does not have the authority to request the data. Banks states that the communications of lawmakers are "private affairs."
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
This type of data is never discarded by these companies in the first place.
Congress has certain police powers and should use it in extreme cases, for example, to investigate terrorism and plots against the government. If the "Republican Study Committee" thinks there's no terrorism or plot against the government to investigate, they should just say so. But you'd think they'd remember what happened in January.
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