AG Rokita expands Big Tech probe to include minority organizations

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is pressuring the leaders of minority organizations for information that he claims might help his “investigation of censorship practices” by Big Tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter.

According to an announcement from the Indiana Attorney General’s office, Rokita has served civil investigative demands to leaders of the National Action Networks, Color of Change, Muslim Advocates, the NAACP, National Urban League and UnidosUS as well as the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

The announcement states the eight leaders were served because they are believed to have met with Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerburg. In addition, the announcement asserts the individuals “are not themselves targets of the investigation but rather are believed to have information that might be helpful to the larger probe.”

Rokita told The Indiana Lawyer he sees the investigation in Big Tech as preserving individual liberty.

The eight individuals receiving the latest civil investigative demands are:

  • Al Sharpton — founder/president, National Action Network;
  • Kristen Clarke — nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (formerly led the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law);
  • Rashad Robinson — president, Color of Change;
  • Farhana Khera — president/executive director, Muslim Advocates;
  • Derrick Johnson, president/CEO, NAACP;
  • Sherrilyn Ifill — president/director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund;
  • Marc Morial — president/CEO, National Urban League; and
  • Janet Murguia — president/CEO, UnidosUS

Civil investigative demands provide the ability to ask interrogatories and request documents to determine whether or not to file a lawsuit, according to the announcement. The attorney general’s office is examining whether the Big Tech companies have manipulated content in ways that violate the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

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