Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CEOs of Twitter, Google and Facebook will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on October 28, six days before Election Day, a committee aide confirmed to Axios.

Driving the news: On Thursday, the committee authorized subpoenas for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey. By Friday evening, the companies and the committee worked out a date, first reported by Politico.

Between the lines: All three companies offered to testify the week of November 16, after the election, and the committee insisted on an earlier date before the election, a source familiar with the situation told Axios.

Details: The hearing is expected to focus on efforts to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that protects tech platforms from liability for user-contributed content.

  • Republicans want to make the liability shield contingent on changes in what they charge is anti-conservative bias by the companies, while Democrats hope to pressure them to tighten user privacy and change what they see as monopolistic practices.

What they're saying: Twitter confirmed CEO Jack Dorsey would be testifying before the committee on October 28.

  • ."@jack has voluntarily agreed to testify virtually before the @SenateCommerce Committee on October 28 — less than a week before the US Presidential Election.It must be constructive & focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections."

Our thought bubble: Squeezing this hearing in before the election gives it a political spin and could damage bipartisan efforts to revise Section 230 by making it tougher for the parties to find common ground.

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Updated Oct 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

Trump and lawmakers react to intel alert on Russia and Iran election interference

Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump and lawmakers reacted to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's announcement that Iran and Russia sought to influence the U.S. election by obtaining voter registration data in an attempt to spread false information.

What they're saying: Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) urged Americans in a joint statement to "be cautious" ahead of the Nov. 3 election "about believing or spreading unverified, sensational claims related to votes and voting."

U.S. vs. Google — the siege begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Justice Department fired the starter pistol on what's likely to be a years-long legal siege of Big Tech by the U.S. government when it filed a major antitrust suit Tuesday against Google.

The big picture: Once a generation, it seems, federal regulators decide to take on a dominant tech company. Two decades ago, Microsoft was the target; two decades before that, IBM.