Senator Wants Tech Companies To Answer If They Will Support Her Legislation Restricting Their Own Control

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota pressed the respective general counsel of Facebook, Twitter and Google during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday to answer whether they would support her recently-introduced legislation limiting their control.

“My first question is simply, will you support our bill?” Klobuchar asked emphatically before a slight delay in the witnesses testimony.

After Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch briefly chimed in, Klobuchar asked again if they could “just answer that [question] … if you will support our bill.”

Stretch avoided answering directly — perhaps a testament to the notion that they are not, for now, going to support that specific tentative bill — and said that they were willing to work with lawmakers on the proper particulars of any officials rules going forward. He was sure to say that they are already working on initiatives that satisfy what Klobuchar wants.

Twitter’s executive agreed in the same respect, as did Google’s.

“Because, just to clarify, while you are taking responsibility for a lot of what’s happened here and trying to make some changes, there wouldn’t be an outside enforcer of any of your policies, right?” Klobuchar asked. “Can someone answer?” she continued before someone finally replied in the affirmative.

The senator’s question came after explaining her thoughts on the issue of foreign entities like the Russian government attempting to influence the 2016 elections.

Along with Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, Klobuchar proposed a bill earlier in October called the Honest Ads Act, which aims to require tech giants to publicize copies of political ads.

“I think it’s very important that we have the same rules of the road for these issue ads, as well as candidate ads, that we have for TV, radio and print. It’s that simple. And that is the bill that Sen. Warner and I have.”

Republican Sen. John McCain has shown his support for the prospective legislation by cosponsoring it.

“We’re very pleased with that [endorsement],” Klobuchar said during the official proceeding. “He looks at this as a national security issue.” (RELATED: Google And Facebook Have Donated Thousands To Congressmen They Are Testifying Before)

The hearing Tuesday is just one of three set to take place, as the tech company’s executives are also attending hearings Wednesday for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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