First U.S. lawmaker joins international committee investigating Facebook

By Graham Kates

/ CBS News

Did Facebook CEO know about privacy issues?

Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, will be the first U.S. lawmaker to join an extraordinary collection of global officials investigating the spread of disinformation and "fake news" on social media, according to a statement released Thursday by the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News'" Irish contingent.

The committee now comprises lawmakers from a dozen countries aggressively examining the role of social media, in particular Facebook, in efforts to influence elections and culture.

Cicilline, who serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, said in the statement that the internet has "become concentrated, less open, and growingly hostile to innovation."

Trending News

"This is a problem that transcends borders, and it requires multinational cooperation to craft solutions that foster competition and safeguard privacy online," Cicilline said. "I look forward to joining the International Grand Committee as part of its historic effort to identify problems in digital markets and chart a path forward that leads to a better online experience for everyone."

Hildegarde Naughton, chair of Ireland's Oireachtas Communications Committee, said Cicilline is joining an investigation that has a "particular responsibility" to pursue "greater regulation of social media and tech giants.

"We will coordinate actions to tackle online election interference, 'fake news', and harmful online communications, amongst other issues while at the same time respecting freedom of speech," Naughton said.

At its two previous hearings in London and Ottawa, Canada, the committee has included lawmakers from Britain, Canada, Singapore, Saint Lucia, Ireland, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, Morocco and Estonia. At each hearing, seats have been left empty for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who has rebuffed repeated calls to appear — as lower-level executives have borne the wrath of angry legislators.

Cicilline's commitment comes as the committee gears up for a hearing of particular significance for Facebook and Zuckerberg. The company employs a large workforce in Ireland, running a massive data center that is core to its international operation. As a result, Ireland's Data Protection Commission has unusual power compared to other countries to regulate and fine Facebook.

At the committee's most recent hearing in Ottawa, Canada in late May, Facebook executives Neil Potts and Kevin Chan were questioned about the company's decision not to block an infamous video that was altered to make U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appear drunk. Potts and Chan then watched as the Canadian contingent voted to subpoena their bosses.

"Should Mr. Zuckerberg or (Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl) Sandberg come to Canada for any reason, for a tech conference or to go fishing, they should be served a summons," said Canadian Member of Parliament Charlie Angus.

Canada is the second country to which Zuckerberg cannot travel without expecting to be immediately summoned to appear before government officials. After the International Grand Committee met for the first time in London last year — a meeting Zuckerberg declined to attend — the head of a British committee investigating disinformation told CBS News that if Zuckerberg ever steps foot in England he can expect a visit from authorities.

"If Mark Zuckerberg came to the U.K., we would serve a summons on him and if he refused to accept that summons then we could start contempt proceedings against him," Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the U.K. Parliament, said in a February interview.

At that hearing, Facebook executive Richard Allen was grilled on issues ranging from the company's failure to block posts in Sri Lanka encouraging people to "kill all Muslims" to secret internal company documents seized by the committee's British Members of Parliament.

Singapore's Edwin Tong asked why a post in Sri Lanka saying "kill all Muslims" was allowed to stay up, calling it an "egregious mistake." Tong said when a Sri Lankan government official pushed Facebook about the post, the company replied initially, "This post does not break any specific rules."

First published on August 15, 2019 / 10:40 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Graham Kates

Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBSNews.com.

U.S. lawmaker joins international Facebook investigation

Rep. David Cicilline joins the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News," as lawmakers from a dozen countries seek answers on election influencing

9M ago Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen cbsn-fusion-hong-kong-protesters-fear-military-crackdown-after-violence-at-airport-demonstrations-thumbnail.jpg

Hong Kong protests: How did we get here?

CBS News Asia correspondent Ramy Inocencio explains what brought the pro-democracy protesters onto the streets, and what could come next

updated 30M ago cbsn-fusion-hong-kong-protesters-fear-military-crackdown-after-violence-at-airport-demonstrations-thumbnail.jpg Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York

Stocks whipsaw amid recession fears, China's threat

Investors brace themselves after Wednesday's 800-point plunge amid recession signals and China's threats on trade war

updated 42M ago Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York INDIA-POLITICS-INDEPENDENCE DAY

Pakistan says troops killed as India PM keeps mum on Kashmir crackdown

Modi dances around move to scrap Kashmir's semi-autonomy and cut 8 million inhabitants off from world in Independence Day speech, as UN schedules meeting

updated 9M ago INDIA-POLITICS-INDEPENDENCE DAY SPAIN-BRITAIN-SYRIA-IRAN-DIPLOMACY-CONFLICT

U.S. moves to seize Iranian tanker ahead of expected release

Top judge in British territory reportedly said the Grace 1 "would have sailed" if not for the last minute U.S. intervention

3H ago SPAIN-BRITAIN-SYRIA-IRAN-DIPLOMACY-CONFLICT Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen

U.S. lawmaker joins international Facebook investigation

Rep. David Cicilline joins the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News," as lawmakers from a dozen countries seek answers on election influencing

9M ago Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso

Walmart CEO: Time to debate an assault weapons ban

America's largest retailer estimates it represents about 2% of the U.S. firearms market and about 20% of ammo sales

updated 13M ago FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso Police are seen during an active shooter situation in Philadelphia

Trump says Philly shooting suspect should get "long sentence"

The president said the country "must get much tougher on street crime"

33M ago Police are seen during an active shooter situation in Philadelphia 0815-ctm-ussoccernegotiations-1912454-640x360.jpg

U.S. soccer stars explain why equal pay talks broke down

"At any point, when they're willing and ready to come and have a serious talk about equal pay, we're always willing to listen to that," said co-captain Megan Rapinoe

34M ago 0815-ctm-ussoccernegotiations-1912454-640x360.jpg Mature Adult man working in the office

The 25 best jobs in America for career advancement

Three industries stand out when it comes to finding work that offers opportunity for career advancement

45M ago Mature Adult man working in the office Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen

U.S. lawmaker joins international Facebook investigation

Rep. David Cicilline joins the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News," as lawmakers from a dozen countries seek answers on election influencing

9M ago Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso

Walmart CEO: Time to debate an assault weapons ban

America's largest retailer estimates it represents about 2% of the U.S. firearms market and about 20% of ammo sales

updated 13M ago FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso Police are seen during an active shooter situation in Philadelphia

Trump says Philly shooting suspect should get "long sentence"

The president said the country "must get much tougher on street crime"

33M ago Police are seen during an active shooter situation in Philadelphia rtx1i06o.jpg

Trump rule would let some businesses bar LGBT workers

The move comes as a reversal after Trump vowed to maintain Obama-era protections during his first month in office

1H ago rtx1i06o.jpg Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York

Stocks whipsaw amid recession fears, China's threat

Investors brace themselves after Wednesday's 800-point plunge amid recession signals and China's threats on trade war

updated 42M ago Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

18H ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians woodstock-cover-burk-uzzle-color-promo.jpg

Woodstock at 50, in the words, and music, of those who were there

A half-century after a mass of humanity converged on a farm in Bethel, N.Y. for three days of peace and music, musicians and concert-goers recall a unique moment for their generation

Aug 4 woodstock-cover-burk-uzzle-color-promo.jpg Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was "stealing from us big time"

18H ago Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift sends fan $6,000 for tuition

Taylor Swift just surprised a fan from Canada by sending her more than $6,000 for tuition and rent after reading about her family struggles in a Tumblr post.

21H ago 01:06 taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg

Jada Pinkett Smith speaks to 20-year-old self

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is the creator of “Red Table Talk,” a show that streams on Facebook Watch. On “Red Table Talk,” Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris have raw conversations on provocative issues from marriage to mental health. She’ll also soon return to the big screen in the action movie “Angel has Fallen,” alongside Gerard Butler. Pinkett Smith joined “CBS This Morning” Wednesday to discuss those projects and more.

Aug 14 06:55 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen

U.S. lawmaker joins international Facebook investigation

Rep. David Cicilline joins the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News," as lawmakers from a dozen countries seek answers on election influencing

9M ago Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering

WeWork filed its IPO — now meet its We Double

A Wyoming company with a Chinese address and $441 in the bank seems poised to benefit from WeWork's buzzy IPO

16H ago Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering 081419-dream3.jpg

Dream Chaser spaceplanes to launch on Vulcan rocket

Sierra Nevada Corp. picks ULA's Vulcan rocket to boost Dream Chaser spaceplanes into orbit

16H ago 081419-dream3.jpg FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

20H ago FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY untitled-collage-1.jpg

Teen tweets from LG smart fridge, goes viral

15-year-old Dorothy figured out how to tweet from a Nintendo DS, a Wii and her fridge

22H ago untitled-collage-1.jpg my-post-49.png

12-year-old discovers apparent woolly mammoth tooth in Ohio

Jackson Hepner was taking photos with his family when he spotted the giant tooth along the edge of a creek

11H ago my-post-49.png Food and Farm Dehorning Cows

This university is banning beef to fight climate change

"Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words," the school's warden said

16H ago Food and Farm Dehorning Cows 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg

The fight to save the northern white rhino

The last remaining members of the species are a mother and daughter that live under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya – but two rhinos thousands of miles away could offer hope

Aug 14 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

19H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid Stress comes with the territory

Crying on the job? 8 in 10 workers say they've sobbed at work

Workplace weeping is a common experience, with almost half of workers blaming their boss or colleagues

1H ago Stress comes with the territory Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family.

Flight attendant diagnosed with measles after N.Y. flight has died

El Al flight attendant Rotem Amitai was diagnosed with measles after flying from New York to Israel

11H ago Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family. novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

17H ago novartis 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg

Tips for lowering blood pressure, which may cut dementia risk

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found a link between high blood pressure and dementia

Aug 14 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg Teens vaping

New warnings of link between lung disease in teens and e-cigarettes

Minnesota became the third state where serious injuries linked to e-cigarettes were reported in the last month

Aug 14 Teens vaping Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen

U.S. lawmaker joins international Facebook investigation

Rep. David Cicilline joins the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and "Fake News," as lawmakers from a dozen countries seek answers on election influencing

9M ago Facebook logo on broken cracked mobile phone screen Baseball player expression losing sucks

U.S. kids are quitting sports amid rising costs, inequality

Youth sports participation is rising among richer families, as children lower down the ladder exit the field

1H ago Baseball player expression losing sucks FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso

Walmart CEO: Time to debate an assault weapons ban

America's largest retailer estimates it represents about 2% of the U.S. firearms market and about 20% of ammo sales

updated 13M ago FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York

Stocks whipsaw amid recession fears, China's threat

Investors brace themselves after Wednesday's 800-point plunge amid recession signals and China's threats on trade war

updated 42M ago Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York ceo-pay.jpg

CEOs rake in 940% more than 40 years ago; average workers, just 12%

Chief executives now make $278 for ever $1 a typical employee earns — up from 58 bucks for ever dollar back in 1989

Aug 14 ceo-pay.jpg FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso

Walmart CEO: Time to debate an assault weapons ban

America's largest retailer estimates it represents about 2% of the U.S. firearms market and about 20% of ammo sales

updated 13M ago FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso ap6608010465.jpg

America's deadliest mass shootings

These are the deadliest mass shootings in American history

Aug 5 40 photos ap6608010465.jpg bunker.jpg

Child porn fugitive found hiding in underground bunker

Jeremiah Button's jury trial was just two weeks away when he disappeared in early 2016

56M ago bunker.jpg APTOPIX Gunman Firing at Police

Philadelphia suspect in custody after hourslong standoff

Police had initially responded around 5 p.m. on a narcotics warrant and things "went awry almost immediately," Commissioner Richard Ross said

updated 15M ago APTOPIX Gunman Firing at Police 0815-ctm-phillycopsshot-duncan-1912334-640x360.jpg

Armed standoff paralyzes PA neighborhood

A standoff in a Philadelphia neighborhood is over after the man accused of wounding six police officers and shooting repeatedly at others surrendered overnight. Maurice Hill, 36, walked out of the home where he had barricaded himself, holding his hands in the air. Police say Hill first opened fire when officers came to the house with a warrant. Two officers and three hostages were trapped inside for about five hours until a SWAT team rescued them. Jericka Duncan reports.

2H ago 03:49 0815-ctm-phillycopsshot-duncan-1912334-640x360.jpg 081419-dream3.jpg

Dream Chaser spaceplanes to launch on Vulcan rocket

Sierra Nevada Corp. picks ULA's Vulcan rocket to boost Dream Chaser spaceplanes into orbit

16H ago 081419-dream3.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

19H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg

A meteor large enough to see from Earth just hit Jupiter

The rare moment was captured with nothing more than a backyard telescope in Texas

Aug 9 ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg

Saturn's rings are disappearing

NASA's Cassini spacecraft ended its historic exploration of Saturn in 2017 and, slowly but surely, scientists are learning more about the ringed planet. Data from the 13-year mission helped scientists determine Saturn's rings are much newer than the planet itself — and they're disappearing.

Aug 6 00:42 cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg

The worst movies of 2019

The worst films of the year star big name actors, including Keanu Reeves, Anne Hathaway, and Chris Hemsworth.

Aug 9 51 photos 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo

A traveling exhibition of gothic and occult art, sideshow performers, and bizarre specimens stopped outside Chicago, where CBS News photographer Jake Barlow took in the odd sights

Jul 22 24 photos jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg gettyimages-486106944.jpg

New York's Central Park

America's first major landscaped public park, the 840-acre park in Manhattan welcomes more than 37 million visitors every year

Jul 21 25 photos gettyimages-486106944.jpg Charles Manson

Manson Family murders: The terrifying story in pictures

A look at the cult slayings that shocked – and scared – America

Jul 3 44 photos Charles Manson star-trek.jpg

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 30 photos star-trek.jpg 0814-cbsn-sponsored-vxv-smallbusinessspotlight-1911837-640x360.jpg

Popular

Calligrapher embraces tech to grow business

In our Small Business Spotlight – Joanna Krupnick used Instagram to promote her old-fashioned designs and launch a new business.

Aug 14 03:17 0814-cbsn-sponsored-vxv-smallbusinessspotlight-1911837-640x360.jpg 0815-newspath-pedophilebunker-1912532-640x360.jpg

Suspect found hiding in underground bunker

A man facing child sex abuse charges who disappeared in 2016 has been found living in a hidden bunker in the woods in Wisconsin, law enforcement officials said. WSAW-TV reporter Naomi Kowles got an exclusive look inside.

updated 11M ago 02:56 0815-newspath-pedophilebunker-1912532-640x360.jpg 0815-cbsn-iranuscoalition-tyv-new-1912492-640x360.jpg

Inside Strait of Hormuz as Iran tensions rise

The U.S. is trying to build an international coalition to counter Iran's influence in the Middle East, especially in the Strait of Hormuz. The White House says it wants to protect oil tankers and shipping routes in the region. Imtiaz Tyab is the only U.S. network correspondent to gain access to Iran's territorial waters since the recent spike in tensions, and he joins CBSN with a closer look.

1H ago 01:55 0815-cbsn-iranuscoalition-tyv-new-1912492-640x360.jpg master-farming-climate-1920x1080notyt-1898130-640x360.jpg

A climate reckoning in the heartland

A historic flood in March 2019 left much of America's heartland under water. Grain farmers already struggling to bounce back from the Chinese trade war must now grapple with the realities of climate change that threaten to change the future of farming forever. Now, some farmers are implementing practices that could potentially reverse the effects of climate change – and provide a bigger profit. In this CBSN Originals documentary, Adam Yamaguchi travels to Nebraska, where he meets two farmers on different paths, both determined to pass their legacies on to the next generation.

Jul 26 23:07 master-farming-climate-1920x1080notyt-1898130-640x360.jpg cbsn-fusion-report-epsteins-autopsy-results-raises-questions-over-his-death-thumbnail-1912571-640x360.jpg

Report raises questions about Epstein's death

The Washington Post reports Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy shows he had several broken bones in the neck, including the hyoid bone, which is commonly associated with murder by strangulation. This comes as Epstein's accusers file lawsuits against his estate and alleged accomplices. CBS News correspondent Mola Lenghi has the latest on the case, while CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman joins CBSN to discuss new developments.

updated 5M ago 11:50 cbsn-fusion-report-epsteins-autopsy-results-raises-questions-over-his-death-thumbnail-1912571-640x360.jpg

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here