Hotel Chains, Rental Car Companies “Asked” To Help Track Down Capitol Rioters

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This isn’t new. It’s been done repeatedly in the US over the years. I wasn’t a fan of it being done before and still am no fan of making travel service providers into spying agents of any state.

    At one non-Israeli hotel where I was staying when an Israeli PM came by, the Israeli PM’s security team wanted the entire guest list and employee list. If someone made special requests for a room overlooking some exposed exit areas, they may have cared.

  2. Big Brother 2021 style. So if you request a “pool view” and something happens at the pool you are immediately going to become a suspect? While the attack on the Capitol was horrible and the people that entered the building should be prosecuted they use ever event to erode our freedoms just a little bit more.

  3. The request is to RETAIN RECORDS. They are NOT demanding anything yet, they just don’t want it destroyed. This is COMMON with police/law enforcement, and even with lawsuits. This was a major crime, and law enforcement wants all documents involved saved. This is nothing that abnormal. They have NOT demanded a list of every call, guest, etc to be sent in plain text or anything…

  4. See what happens when you make the politicians afraid. They work for the people. Funny how now they want walls and police. How many guns were recovered during that “seige”? Did anybody spray the place with gunfire or did they just tear stuff up and scream? Were they spreading gasoline all over the place and lighting fires? They’ll go to the ends of the earth to arrest someone for trespassing and vandalism while excusing the burning of whole city blocks, countless murder and other mayhem all last summer. Guess its all okay as long as it’s for the right (democrat) reason. They shouldn’t have broken into the Capitol but I really don’t care that they did either. I can be convinced otherwise when I start seeing prosecutions for the rioting all last summer……but we both know that won’t happen.

  5. This is somewhat odd coming from Congress.

    However, it is *precisely* what I would expect the FBI to do, with or without Congressional assistance. I would be disappointed if these leads were not pursued. It’s exactly the type of work you’d see a detective do. Crime occurs; relevant sources are told to preserve evidence; evidence is investigated thoroughly over time. Sometimes the net is a little too wide, but having a hotel hold onto the guest list a couple of months is only the type of behavior that I can imagine the framers intended.

    My guess is that Congress needs to feel as if it is “doing something” even if that’s not super helpful. I can at least understand that, and this reallllly isn’t the usurpation of rights. It is, at worst, a modest overstepping of boundaries by Congress; I have much bigger beefs with actual legislation passed by that body.

  6. @2147
    And what branch of the government is the Congress a part of again? Aaaand…..which branch carries out laws? Hint: not the one that Congress is a part of. That’s why this is wrong……among a bunch of other reasons.

  7. ” And remember on Martin Luther King Day that the American surveillance state was once deployed against him.” Are you for real? They just had a terrorist attack on the Capitol with intelligence indicating more attacks being planned. Asking to have records preserved for a specified period of time in light of the massive ongoing investigation is hardly unreasonable. Asking hotels/transport companies to develop steps that prevent their services from being used by terrorist groups is completely appropriate.

  8. Bill,
    9/11 was a terrorist attack. PanAm 103 was a terrorist attack. USS Cole was a terrorist attack. This was not a terrorist attack. When you want to label the mayhem all summer as terrorist attacks, then I’ll listen about the Capitol thing…..

  9. Talk about overreach.

    Get a warrant or subpoena.

    This is the sort of thing the ACLU used to sue to stop.

  10. The Trump Terrorists will get what’s coming to them. They will be an eternal stain on the US democracy.

  11. They have most of the info they need, cell phone records. Only foreign spies turned off their phones on January 6th in DC. Everyone else took a selfie

  12. Why is it black people tossing bricks and firebombs into buildings is called “protests” while white people carrying signs on the capital grounds are all inclusively called “rioters?!?!?!?!

  13. @Roland Godan – Because the BLM protesters weren’t trying to overthrow the US government when they didn’t like an election result. The domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol did try to do that. Racial justice protesters didn’t bring along assault weapons – apt term in this case – and pipe bombs like the domestic terrorists did. “Rioters” is too gentle a term for people trying to destroy our country but the term is certainly in the right direction.

  14. Christian
    How did they overthrow anything? Did they take hostages? Start fires? Shoot up the place? Have a standoff? 1 cop died after being hit with a fire extinguisher….but hey F the Police right??? 3 died of heart attacks, one possibly after tazing himself in the balls and a cop shot a lady in the neck….she may have been unarmed too…so outrage away my friend!…actually nevermind, she was white so it’s cool. To repeat what was being said all summer while cities were burning to the ground…apparently for the “right” reason: “It’s ONLY property damage” and “They have insurance”.

  15. @CHRIS – Name some of these cities that were burned to the ground. My fact-based news must have missed that tidbit. Just a few examples would be fine.

  16. @CHRIS – I’m not sure how to break this to you but every city you mentioned is standing. Try to stick with fact based news, bud. When you say that Chicago is burned to the ground, you’re just destroying your credibility.

  17. UA-NYC says “The Trump Terrorists will get what’s coming to them. They will be an eternal stain on the US democracy.”

    However, a liberal activist, John Sullivan, from Utah was arrested on Thursday on federal charges that he took part in the riot at the Capitol last week. He is a founder of a protest group called Insurgence USA and was charged in a criminal complaint with one felony count of interfering with law enforcement in connection with a civil disorder, as well as misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.

    So UA-NYC, looks like we found us a Biden Terrorist. What kind on brown stain is on the backseat of CNN’s pants after their so-called Fact Checking reported “….CNN has, as of the publishing of this article, seen no evidence whatsoever of a left-wing infiltration of the mob?”

  18. Christian
    So no fires, looting, murders in ANY of those cities? So unless its a Hiroshima, it doesn’t count as destruction. I must say the CNN reporter telling how its a “peaceful” protest while the building directly behind him was fully engulfed was quite amusing!

  19. AlohaDave,
    Funny how we don’t hear a single word about the Nashville bomber anymore either. It took them about 45 seconds to find out that he WASN’T a Trump guy like they so desperately wanted and poof….its like the internet and all media is completely wiped of the story.

  20. @CHRIS – You’re trying to change the subject. Every city has murders. Simply admit that there were no cities burned down and that either you misspoke or your sources were wrong.

  21. @AlohaDaveKennedy – No one side or group has a monopoly on stupidity. Probably just as well.

  22. @ Christian

    Chris lives in Trumpistan where every American urban center looks like Warsaw in 1945…..with the Antifa flag flying proudly over the city ruins.

  23. So then all those buildings just spontaneously combusted and all those storefronts smashed themselves. Mr Dorn in St Louis…..well you get the idea.

  24. @CHRIS – Still not answering the question: name these cities that were “burned to the ground”. You used the term; admit you’re wrong or prove you’re right.

  25. I used to come here for fun travel stories. It’s now my preferred spot to be reminded how out of touch selfish old men can be

  26. Your argument has no weight because, you have no weight. A keyboard warrior with a message that articulates but lacks accomplishment, has none, net value of none, net worth of none. Never had real fiscal responsibility, never had real demonstrability,. Just wines, and I don’t mean Pinot got a Beef with you grigito

  27. “The domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol did try to do that.”
    Pure hyperbole. How can any rationale argument be made that a group of a couple hundred protesters could overthrow the US government? I realize such fantasies draw people to the cable networks. But the suggestion they could do such a thing is ludicrous. There’s no virture in what happened at the Capital or across our cities this summer. If we’re going to live in a civil society all of it needs to be prosecuted, with real consequences handed out.

  28. Christian – ask the business owners who had their livelihoods destroyed by those animals who looted and set their business on fire if they care about semantics.

  29. @Sveum Jackson

    It’s selfish to prefer that buildings not be vandalized and burned down? That hooligans not beat down innocent bystanders? You’ll be old one day, too. I suspect the young will despise you just as you despise your elders now. Reparations, amirite? David Dorn. Say his name!

  30. This doesn’t seem out of line with any of the rights & privacy we surrendered under the Patriot Act.

  31. They’re investigating heinous crimes, which we all should agree on, unless someone wants to defend the erection of gallows to hang the VP. This Committee has a Constitutional responsibility to investigate, and it seems to take its Constitutional responsibilities seriously, unlike certain others. It could have sent out subpoenas, but it chose not to. Please, no whiny baby-talk, feigned indignation or imagined grievances. Where were all these snowflakes when Snowden revealed universal surveillance? Or when the Patriot Act was rammed through Congress?

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