Congress prepares to hold hearing on SolarWinds breach, Big Tech content moderation

The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on the massive Russian breach of the federal government that has become known as the SolarWinds hack next week in one of the first major congressional hearings on the issue.

The event, set for Feb. 23, will feature testimony from Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the CEO of IT group SolarWinds, which became the face of one of the biggest cyber incidents in U.S. history. Officials discovered in December that hackers had exploited the company’s software to compromise up to 18,000 of its customers for more than a year.

Other witnesses will include Microsoft President Brad Smith, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia and CrowdStrike President and CEO George Kurtz.

AND (ANOTHER) TECH CEO HEARING: The CEOs of the top tech platforms will testify — again — at a house hearing regarding their content moderation policies.

The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google will testify on March 25 at a House Energy and Commerce hearing on the spread of online misinformation.

Scrutiny over the platforms’ handling of misinformation has amplified since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol which was largely driven by online organization.

SPEAKING OF ANTITRUST: The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee will launch a series of hearings on proposals to address what it sees as an abuse of online market power.

The first hearing is scheduled for next Thursday.

The subcommittee said it plans to call antitrust experts, affected businesses and “other knowledgeable witnesses” to assist with the development of legislation, but the Thursday announcement did not include details on specific witnesses that will take part in the hearings.

The scheduled hearings are a continuation of lawmakers’ efforts to clamp down on the market power of the four biggest tech companies in the country.