House representatives sent a letter to Yahoo's CEO... from 2017

We're pretty sure they wasted an envelope.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

A tip to members of Congress: if you're going to send an angrily-worded letter to a technology CEO, make sure they're still working at the company. A group of 11 House Republicans has sent letters to the leaders of 13 tech companies threatening legal action if they comply with a request for records related to the January 6th Capitol attack. However, there's one major problem. The letter to Yahoo (Engadget's parent company) is addressed to Marissa Mayer, who hasn't been CEO of the company since 2017. That's four years ago, folks — she's not exactly a recent departure.

The representatives' other letters appear to have been free of snafus on their way to Amazon, AOL (which Apollo acquired alongside Yahoo), Apple, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Snap, T-Mobile, Twitter, US Cellular and Verizon (Engadget's former parent). However, the congresspeople appear to be slightly behind the times as well. None of the letters went to Reddit, Telegram, TikTok and other key firms asked to produce records. The list appears to be a who's-who of tech from several years ago.

We laugh, but the slip-up is also a reminder that Congress' general lack of tech knowledge creates problems, whether it's a letter to a long-gone CEO or proposed law changes that could produce easily foreseen complications. The next mistake could cost a lot more than embarrassment and wasted paper, and that unfortunately won't change any time soon.