The Directive, Incoming-Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) on Friday sent a letter to the CEOs of social media platforms and telecommunications companies about last week’s riot at the United States Capitol. Warner instructed the companies to “preserve digital evidence” of the riot.
Warner wants the platforms to “immediately preserve any and all posts, communications, videos and other media, meta-data, cloud backups, and subscriber information, whether currently on your platform or in any backup or archived state.” He made the instruction in anticipation of formal legal proceedings.
“This mob was organized, coordinated, and in many cases broadcast via your communications services and products. Efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice will inevitably involve digital evidence associated with those products and services,” Warner wrote in his letter.
The senator stated rioters shared photos and videos in text messages and on various social media platforms as a way “to celebrate their disdain for our democratic process.”
“The United States Capitol is now a crime scene,” Warner wrote. “The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the events of that day, and trying to piece together what happened and the perpetrators involved.”
The senator also said there is a high probability that victims may file lawsuits over the riot as well.
“The texts, videos, and pictures posted to your platforms – and associated meta-data, cloud backups, and subscriber information – are critical evidence in helping to bring these rioters to justice,” he concluded.
The letter was sent to mobile carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, as well as Apple, Facebook, Gab, Google, Parler, Signal, Telegram and Twitter.
Below is the full letter:
After Wednesday’s insurrectionist attack on our nation’s Capitol, I’m calling on telecom and social media companies to preserve digital evidence of the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/aL8l4dzXmD
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) January 9, 2021