By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department should do more to ensure that major tech firms, including Meta Platforms and Alphabet, comply with sanctions against foreign firms that advertise on their platforms, a top lawmaker said on Monday.
Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in which he said the Treasury Department was failing to "ensure sanctions compliance in digital advertising markets."
American technology firms like Alphabet, which owns Google, and Meta, which owns Facebook, "continue to flout U.S. sanctions rules," the lawmaker said in the letter. The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Warner said that tech companies continue to provide adtech services to sanctioned entities that have deep ties to countries he described as "foreign adversaries," including Russia and Iran.
Among examples cited in Warner's letter were media and public reports from late 2023 saying Google served ads to sanctioned Russian and Iranian firms, and pro-Russian businessman Ilan Shor using Facebook advertising for what Warner called "malign influence activity targeting Moldovan elections."
Warner noted that many countries had elections due this year, including the United States, which made it important for the Treasury Department to "enforce compliance with U.S. sanctions."
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Ljunggren)