Miss. Senator Urges Greater Cooperation Between Tech Companies & Law Enforcement

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today attended a hearing to examine what social media companies are doing to help combat terrorism.

Wicker asked Mr. Carlos Monje, Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy at Twitter, about his company’s cooperation with law enforcement agencies and other third parties as they seek to combat terrorism online. Although Twitter allows companies to purchase aggregate user data to conduct targeted advertising, it does not allow data analytic companies who aid federal authorities and other clients in counterterrorism efforts to access the same user data for surveillance purposes.

Wicker directed the same question to Ms. Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management for Facebook. Facebook’s policies do not allow aggregate user data to be provided to law enforcement or other third parties without a legal request for a suspect’s data.

Wicker expressed concern that Twitter and Facebook’s restrictive policies were superseding the need for U.S. authorities to surveil terrorist organizations and their interactions with these influential social media platforms.

Other attendees at today’s hearing included:

  • Ms. Juniper Downs, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, YouTube; and
  • Mr. Clinton Watts, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Senator Roger Wicker Press Release