WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Colorado Congressman Ken Buck sent a joint letter to the CEOs of Google, Apple and Amazon to question the companies' actions in crippling the social network Parler earlier this year.
In January, Apple and Google removed the Parler app from their services and Amazon discontinued its web-hosting service for Parler. The platform was forced offline after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to the letter by Sen. Lee and Rep. Buck, the actions by the three companies occurred in a matter of three days, shielding the service from 15 million users.
"The timing of steps taken against the Parler social network by your companies and that the actions seem to lack any of the procedural fairness typically afforded in the case of an alleged breach of contract create the appearance of close coordination," the letter states. "These actions were against a company that is not alleged to have violated any law. In fact, information provided by Parler to the House Oversight Committee revealed that Parler was assisting law enforcement even in advance of January 6th.”
Amazon Web Services, the Seattle tech giant’s cloud-computing division, stopped working with Parler in January over what Amazon said was Parler’s inability to moderate violent content. Parler went back online in February with hosting provided by SkySilk, a Los Angeles-based cloud-computing outfit.
Parler's mobile apps remain off Google's and Apple's app stores, but Parler has provided Android users with an alternative method for installation.