Home Republicans got here to the protection of Elon Musk Thursday, tearing into Federal Commerce Fee Chair Lina Khan over an company investigation they declare borders on “obsession” with Twitter and its proprietor.
The blustering help for the billionaire dominated a Thursday Home Judiciary Committee listening to overseeing the company’s work below Khan’s management. The committee’s chair, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), set the tone proper out of the gate, calling Khan’s management a “catastrophe” and suggesting that the FTC’s Twitter probe was politically motivated.
“Why are you harassing Twitter?” Jordan pressed Khan Thursday. “This wasn’t harassment. It was a shakedown.”
The listening to got here hours after Musk requested a federal court docket to finish the FTC’s investigation into Twitter over attainable consumer privateness failures and terminate a settlement it entered into with the company final yr. Within the submitting, Musk’s X Corp. claimed the probe had “spiraled uncontrolled and develop into tainted with bias.”
Shortly after Musk took over Twitter final yr, the FTC started investigating whether or not the corporate had the sources obligatory to keep up the privateness of its customers. Below a consent decree Twitter entered into with the FTC in 2011 (later expanded in 2022), it’s required to tell the FTC on the way it protects shopper information and coordinate common safety audits.
Responding to Republicans’ complaints, Khan famous that the FTC imposed the privateness restrictions Musk cursed greater than a decade in the past. “Twitter has a historical past of lax safety and privateness insurance policies,” she stated.
Republicans additionally criticized the Khan FTC’s latest court docket failures to problem mergers, together with a call this week permitting Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard, and advised it was a ploy to make Congress go new antitrust guidelines.
“Are you shedding on function?” Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) requested of Khan. “You’re shedding since you don’t have the authority that you really want from Congress.”
Khan denied these motives Thursday, however she’s beforehand advised that courtroom losses may power Congress to craft stronger competitors laws, in accordance with The New York Occasions.