In the Spotlight
David Hawkins March 7, 2023
From Slay News
The House Judiciary Committee blew the whistle on Biden’s FTC’s attempt to harass Twitter CEO Elon Musk in a blockbuster report. The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released an interim report titled, “The Weaponization of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): An Agency’s Overreach to Harass Elon Musk’s Twitter.”
The report details new, nonpublic information that shows how the federal government weaponized its authority against Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.
The FTC sent over a dozen demand letters to Twitter that make more than 350 specific demands of Twitter. The information shows how the FTC has been attempting to harass Twitter and pry into the company’s decisions on matters outside of the FTC’s mandate.
When Musk moved to save free speech on Twitter, the FTC followed with a new demand letter. The FTC has demanded that Twitter provide, among other things:
“Information relating to journalists’ work protected by the First Amendment, including their work to expose abuses by Big Tech and the federal government;
“Every single internal communication “relating to Elon Musk,” by any Twitter personnel—including communications sent or received by Musk—not limited by subject matter, since the day Musk bought the company;
“Information about whether Twitter is “selling its office equipment”;
“All of the reasons why Twitter terminated former Twitter employee and FBI official Jim Baker;
“When Twitter “first conceived of the concept for Twitter Blue,” Twitter’s new $8/month verified account subscription; and
“Information disaggregated by “each department, division, and/or team,” regardless of whether the work done by these units had anything to do with privacy or information security.
The report says:
“There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter.
“There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter’s personnel decisions.
“And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every single internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk.
Jay Bhattacharya said: “The Biden administration’s casual violation of the First Amendment should shock every journalist, even those not fond of @elonmusk. What is the limiting principle? This inquisition could extend to any journalist.”
Elon Musk said: “This is a serious attack on the Constitution by a federal agency. A shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth.”
According to The Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Trade Commission has demanded Twitter Inc. turn over internal communications related to owner Elon Musk, as well as detailed information about layoffs—citing concerns that staff reductions could compromise the company’s ability to protect users, documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal show.
In 12 letters sent to Twitter and its lawyers since Mr. Musk’s Oct. 27 takeover, the FTC also asked the company to “identify all journalists” granted access to company records and to provide information about the launch of the revamped Twitter Blue subscription service, the documents show.
The FTC is also seeking to depose Mr. Musk in connection with the probe.
A shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!
@DrJBhattacharya·FollowThe Biden administration’s casual violation of the First Amendment should shock every journalist, even those not fond of @elonmusk. What is the limiting principle? This inquisition could extend to any journalist
Paul D. Thacker
Perfectly normal for federal investigative body to demand the names of reporters interacting w/ a company. https://wsj.com/articles/twitter-investigation-ftc-musk-documents-db6b179e… The entire world would be panicking if the President was a Republican, but this is a Democratic administration, so the NY Times will ignore this
This is a serious attack on the Constitution by a federal agency.