Yesterday saw a change in a pace in the halls of Congress. After almost three years of heavy divisiveness and bickering, we finally saw both sides working together with a common purpose – to hold TikTok accountable. While it didn’t break through some of the more stringent political divide, this seemingly simple gesture reminded us that it can be done.
Rep. Anna Eshoo’s reaction to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in Thursday’s congressional hearing came as a sight for sore eyes. Eshoo pushed back against Chew’s claims that he hadn’t seen evidence demonstrating the Chinese government had access to American users’ data on the social media app.
Daily wire reports, during his testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Chew said TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, was under pressure to sell the app.
The CEO claimed that TikTok and the Chinese government were not linked in his opening statement.
The Democrat Rep. then proceeded to question the CEO.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE EXCHANGE
The law the congresswoman was referring to, is from The 2021 Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China mentions that “national security organs” are entrusted with the power to “obtain data for national security purposes” and that violations are punishable by strict fines.
The testimony contradicts a June 2022 BuzzFeed article, which reported that ByteDance employees accessed user data on US TikTok repeatedly.
Daily Caller reported then that during a congressional hearing, a TikTok executive repeatedly refused to stop sending data from American users to China, claiming that the policies in development would satisfy the national security concerns of America.
As part of ongoing negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), TikTok’s Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas stated that policies would be developed to ensure American users’ data was secure. Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio twice asked Pappas if TikTok, which is owned by Chinese social media giant ByteDance, will refrain from sending American data to China, a commitment that Pappas refused to make.
Here we are a year later questioning the TikTOK CEO about the same problem that was raised almost a year ago. It’s nice that congress has come together for this one serious issue which needs to be addressed but we can clearly see for ourselves that the CEO is lying to us so he can go back to his company and continue right where he left off. The lies should be considered a lack of cooperation and should count toward the decision as to why we should ban TikTok from our shores. The company has given us no recent to trust anything words coming from them.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.