Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2014. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

Washington is amping up its demands on Big Tech, with Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner saying last night that CEOs specifically must be held accountable.

What's next: Warner, who is helping lead the committee's probe of Russia's role in the 2016 election, also said that Capitol Hill's interest in Facebook and other tech platforms extends beyond political advertising, which had been lawmakers' initial focus.

  • "I am ... flabbergasted that the CEOs of these companies seem to be happy to answer questions from their shareholders, but not from the lawmakers who represent all Americans," Warner said at the awards dinner for the Robin Toner Prize for political reporting, to an audience of elite journalists.
  • "Companies like Facebook and Twitter and Google are American icons," Warner added. "I don’t have any interest in regulating them into oblivion. But as they’ve grown from dorm-room startups into media behemoths ... they haven’t acknowledged that that kind of power comes with responsibility."

Warner's comments came on the same day that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) officially invited — by name — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to an April 10 hearing on "the future of data privacy in the social media industry and how to develop 'rules of the road.'"

  • Also yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed an investigation into "the privacy practices of Facebook."
  • And the states are getting involved: A bipartisan coalition of 37 state attorneys general yesterday sent a letter demanding answers from Zuckerberg about Facebook's "business practices and privacy protections."

The bottom line, from Axios' Sara Fischer: The biggest threat of any real penalties will likely come from the FTC, which is responsible for the enforcement of privacy standards, mostly through big fines.

  • While analysts don't think the body will fine Facebook out of business, it does put pressure on Facebook and its competitors to be transparent about any past data privacy abuses and to comply with Europe's sweeping privacy regulations that take effect in May.

A House Republican leadership aide told me that this is now being treated as a consumer issue, in addition to the earlier national security concerns:

  • "Facebook should expect the same scrutiny [as] any other major company that has deceived its customers has faced from Congress."
  • "We are probably a ways away from any type of action that gets 60 [votes in the Senate] or 218" in the House.
  • "[B]ut a bad testimony or two would only turn the heat up hotter."

The good news for Facebook, per The Wall Street Journal (subscription):

  • "Facebook’s shares edged up 0.4% on Monday amid a broader market rally, stabilizing after a rout of the company’s stock that began a week earlier and had knocked nearly $75 billion off its market value through Friday."

Be smart: Meaningful action before the November midterm elections is unlikely. This will require due process — hearings, etc. But the past 10 days have brought a massive increase in Washington's appetite for confrontation with Silicon Valley.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.