Representative Nunes calls for investigation into racketeering on Amazon, Apple and Google over Talk ban

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Representative Devin Nunes, R-California, called for an investigation into the racketeering Sunday following decisions by Amazon, Apple and Google to suspend the alternative social media platform Talk after Wednesday’s riot in the United States on Capitol Hill.

In an interview with “Sunday Morning Futures,” Nunes said the suspension of Parler by Amazon, Apple and Google was “clearly a violation” of antitrust, civil rights and the Influenced and Corrupted Organizations Act. by Racketeer (RICO), which is a federal law that provides extensive criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts done as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

“I don’t know where the Justice Department or the FBI is right now,” senior member of the House Standing Committee on Intelligence told host Maria Bartiromo.

Nunes argued that “there should be a racketeering investigation of all the people who coordinated this attack not just on a company, but on everyone like us.

“I have 3 million subscribers on Parler,” he added. “Tonight, I will no longer be able to communicate with these people and they are Americans. ”

SPEAKING TO BE DOWN “FOR A TIME” WITHOUT AWS, THE DIRECTORS SAY: “WE ARE CLEARLY SINGULAR”

The DOJ and FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Nunes made the comments on Sunday hours before Amazon plans to suspend Talking from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit in a move that takes the site offline, unless it finds another hosting service.

Amazon claims the move was made for violating AWS terms of service by failing to effectively handle a steady increase in violent content, according to an email from an AWS Trust and Safety team to Speak, reported by Reuters .

AWS planned to suspend the Talk account effective Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PST, according to the email. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the letter was genuine.

Amazon Web Services Acceptable Use Policy prohibits customers from using its services for “illegal, harmful or offensive” content. An Amazon representative declined to comment.

Speak is facing criticism over Wednesday’s riot, which saw supporters of President Trump storm the U.S. Capitol, attack police, vandalize the building, and steal items from inside.

Screenshots taken from Parler and shared on other social media platforms appear to show Parler users openly discussing plans of violence at the rally leading up to the Capitol attack, including bringing in weapons and by imagining how they would use them against their political opponents.

Google and Apple have already suspended the Talking app from their respective app markets, with a requirement that the platform improve its moderation.

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“We are aware of the continued publication in the Speak app which seeks to incite continued violence in the United States,” a Google spokesperson told Fox News.

“Talking has not taken adequate steps to combat the proliferation of these threats to the safety of people,” Apple told Fox News.

“The effect of this is that there is no longer a free and open social media company or site for Americans,” Nunes said Sunday.

He added that Apple, Amazon and Google “just destroyed” Talk.

“Republicans have no way of communicating,” Nunes said, adding that “it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Conservative”.

He pointed out that there is no longer a social media platform for those who “don’t want to be regulated by left-wing members who are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where the shadows are banished, no one can see you, they decide. which is violent and not violent. ”

“It’s absurd,” Nunes said.

The suspension of Talking by Amazon, Apple and Google comes after Twitter’s decision to ban President Trump’s personal account on Friday after crowds of his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol, resulting in several deaths. The tech company accused Trump of inciting violence.

In a statement Thursday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the block on Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts would be extended “indefinitely”, saying that “we believe the risks of allowing the president to continue using our service during this time are just too important. awesome. ”

Facebook owns the Instagram platform.

Bartiromo said on Sunday that “all of these movements certainly resemble communist China, where there is this crackdown on free speech.”

She then asked Nunes what he planned to do about it as an elected official.

In response, Nunes noted that Big Tech’s “hypocrisy” suspending Trump and Speaking “knows no bounds.”

He highlighted the “Hang Mike Pence” trend on Twitter Friday night, with around 14,000 tweets after the social media platform banned Trump “because of the risk of further incitement to violence,” according to reports.

“I think it’s violence,” Nunes said Sunday, referring to Pence’s trend on Twitter. “Is Apple removing the Twitter app from the App Store?” No.

“Those CEOs who do this should be prosecuted,” Nunes added.

“I have spoken with many of my colleagues, Republicans on the House side and a few senators,” he continued. “We’re going to look for legal options, do we have legal options? Do we have our First Amendment rights? Are they violated? ”

He added that he believed “federal judges must intervene.”

“Legislatively you have to understand that this is not about Big Tech and that they are just in Silicon Valley and that they are just trying to make money, not they work for the Democratic Socialist Party”, Nunes said. “They are encouraged by this. It’s state media and it’s really the communications system.

“This is how people get their information through this funnel of very few companies controlled by the Democratic Socialist Party,” Nunes added.

Twitter seemed to notice the “Hang Mike Pence” trending at one point: On the Twitter Trending USA site, which tracks the last 12 hours of the 10 hottest topics, the item does not appear.

“We’ve blocked expression and other variations of the trend,” a Twitter spokesperson told Fox News on Saturday. “We want trends to promote healthy discussions on Twitter. ”

Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to Fox News ‘request for comment regarding Nunes’ claim that companies “are controlled by the Democratic Socialist Party.”

Immediately before Nunes appeared on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Parler CEO John Matze told the show that what is happening is “extremely frightening” and that it appears Big Tech’s moves are an effort to “stifle free speech and market competition.” . ”

Talking will likely be offline for “a while” Sunday night given AWS’s decision to suspend the social media platform.

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Matze told “Sunday Morning Futures” that the site will try to “get back on line as quickly as possible,” after writing on the platform that the site could be down for a week.

James Leggate of Fox Business and Peter Aitken of Fox News contributed to this report.

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