The Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Democrat Carolyn Maloney, wrote to the heads of hotel chains, rental car companies, and online travel agencies on Friday “asking” them to help track down Capitol rioters.
Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Hilton, Expedia, Hertz, Avis and others are being instructed to track and screen guests, and answer for their policies to Congress.
Here are copies of the letters. It notes that “[s]everal companies have voluntarily taken action to prevent domestic terrorists from using their services to support further violence” suggesting that failure to fulfill the Congresswoman’s ‘request’ might lead to government taking steps where compliance isn’t voluntary.
Maloney insists that travel providers and agents,
- “put in place additional screening measures to ensure that your services are not being used to facilitate violence or domestic terrorism”
- “Retain all records regarding service requests and reservations from January 1 to January 31, 2021, for potential use, if necessary, in future law enforcement or Congressional investigations”
- “Produce to the Committee by January 29, 2021, all company policies and procedures currently in place or being developed to ensure that your services are not used to facilitate violence or domestic terrorism”
What happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th was… deplorable, to borrow a phrase. Using the events of January 6th to impose new screenings for hotel guests, and eliminate guest privacy by requiring chains to track service requests for the government is as well.
If you prefer a room with a specific view, the government might want to know, to question you later if a crime occurs in the area your room overlooks. Your upgrade requests suddenly become national security concerns.
“While the inciters and attackers bear direct responsibility for the siege on the Capitol and will be held fully accountable, they relied on a range of companies and services to get them there and house them once they arrived,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote in her letters to the companies.
Maloney also asked the companies to send her committee by Jan. 29 all “policies and procedures currently in place or being developed to ensure that your services are not used to facilitate violence or domestic terrorism.”
Requests from the Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee are not, in fact, voluntary. And remember on Martin Luther King Day that the American surveillance state was once deployed against him.