U.S. House committee asked Microsoft to retain data about attack on Capitol

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Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and several telecommunications companies have been asked to keep phone records and other data related to the attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The request asks companies to keep data from several Republican members of Congress, former President Donald Trump, and multiple members of the Trump family, according to CNN. The committee made the request on Monday, August 29, 2021.

The data of several members of Congress is reportedly part of the request. The names of the affected members of Congress are not known at this time.

Tim Mulvey, the spokesman of the committee, clarified that “The Select Committee is at this point gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by any individual.”

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The House select committee investigating the attacks made the request to several tech giants, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. In total, the committee has asked 35 telecommunications and social media companies to retain information. The panel asked the companies to keep “metadata, subscriber information, technical usage information, and content of communications for the listed individuals.”

The letters to companies requesting to retain data ask for information regarding individuals who were “involved in organizing, funding, or speaking” at the “Stop The Steal” rallies in January (via The Washington Post). The letters also request information related to anyone “potentially involved with discussions of plans to challenge, delay, or interfere” with the election.

On Friday, August 27, 2021, the committee asked for “all reviews, studies, reports, data, analyses, and communications” related to misinformation related to the election, including content made by foreign actors, U.S. actors, and “domestic violent extremists.”

The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind), claims that the panel does not have the authority to request the data. Banks states that the communications of lawmakers are “private affairs.”

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