Gab to Congress: You're Gonna Need a Warrant for That or You Know, Talk to DOJ or Something - 2021-09-02
This week's Gab screed is in, and another regime topples in the wake of the platform's offensives (usually emails). The target of the latest screed: the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Protest at the United States Capitol. Congratulations to Congress, you're a Gab-certified authority figure.
Last week, Gab published a letter from Congress requesting records of posts and messages related to election disinformation, planning an insurrection, violent domestic extremism, and foreign schemes to influence the election. They'd also like to see what Gab did about users promoting the insurrection (communications with law enforcement and moderation efforts, if any), internal communications about the insurrection, and law enforcement requests for evidence, among other records. In other words, this is a standard ask for a committee investigating an insurrection.
Misinformation peddler and Gab CEO Andrew Torba tells Congress, in a line-by-line response, that it should poke around elsewhere. He says that Gab doesn't track mis- or disinformation, has no retention policies, keeps no records of internal discussion about insurrection concerns, and has no way to know if an account is run by a foreign government. (He does say that Gab found one alleged foreign government account, once, but only because Christopher Krebs's counsel notified the company. He adds that it backed up the account for law enforcement, then banned it.) Torba argues that it can't turn over any private communications it's shared with law enforcement under the Stored Communications Act (SCA).