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FIERY: Josh Hawley Piteously Grills TikTok's CEO At Senate Hearing On Online Child Safety

FIERY: Josh Hawley Piteously Grills TikTok's CEO At Senate Hearing On Online Child Safety


In a fiery exchange during a Senate hearing on online child safety, Senator Josh Hawley grilled TikTok CEO, Mr. Chu, raising concerns about the platform's ties to China and the potential risks it poses to Americans. Hawley pointed out the alarming evidence indicating TikTok's data surveillance and access by Chinese employees, who are subject to the Chinese Communist Party. The following is a transcript of the intense questioning:

Hawley: "Mr. Zuckerberg, before my time expires, Mr. Chu, let me just ask you about your platform. Why should your platform not be banned in the United States of America? You are owned by a Chinese Communist company or a company based in China. The editor-in-chief of your parent company is a Communist Party secretary. Your company has been surveilling Americans for years, according to leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings. China-based employees of your company have repeatedly accessed non-public data of United States citizens. Your company has also tracked journalists improperly, gaining access to their IP addresses and user data in an attempt to identify whether they're writing negative stories about you. Why should your platform not be banned in the United States of America?"

Mr. Chu vehemently disagreed with Hawley's characterization and attempted to address the concerns:

Chu: "Senator, I disagree with your characterization. Many of what you have said, we have explained in a lot of detail. TikTok is used by 170 million Americans. I know when every single one of those Americans are in danger from the fact that you track their keystrokes, you track their app usage, you track their location data, and we know that all of that information can be accessed by Chinese employees who are subject to the diktat of the Chinese Communist Party. Why should you not be banned in this country?"

Hawley remained firm in his stance and countered Chu's response:

Hawley: "That is not accurate. A lot of what you describe, we collect. We don't collect 100% accurate. Do you deny that repeatedly Americans' data has been accessed by ByteDance employees in China? We built a project that cost us billions of dollars to stop that, and we have made a lot of progress. And it hasn't been stopped. According to the Wall Street Journal report from just yesterday, even now, ByteDance workers, without going through official channels, have access to the private information of American citizens. Quoting from the article, 'private information of American citizens, including their birthdate, their IP address, and more.' That's now."

Chu attempted to defend TikTok's efforts to protect user data, but Hawley interrupted, highlighting the significant concerns:

Hawley: "Senator, as we know, the media doesn't always get it right. But what we have, the Chinese Communist Party does. I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that we have been, we spent billions of dollars to build this project. It is rigorous, it's robust, it's unprecedented, and I'm proud of the work that the 2,000 employees are doing to protect the data."

Hawley continued to express his doubts and insisted on the urgent need for action:

Hawley: "It's not protected, that's the problem, Mr. Chu. It's not protected at all. It's subject to Communist Chinese Party inspection and review. Your app, unlike anybody else sitting here—I've got problems with everybody here—but your app, unlike any of those, is subject to the control and inspection of a foreign hostile government that is actively trying to track the information and whereabouts of every American they get their hands on. Your app ought to be banned in the United States of America for the security of this country."

The intense exchange left lingering concerns about TikTok's data privacy practices and its relationship with the Chinese government.


Keywords

  • TikTok
  • Senate hearing
  • Online child safety
  • Chinese Communist company
  • Data surveillance
  • Chinese employees
  • United States of America
  • Wall Street Journal report
  • ByteDance
  • User data
  • Communist Chinese Party
  • Data protection
  • Foreign hostile government
  • Data privacy practices

FAQ

Q: What concerns were raised during the Senate hearing on online child safety? A: The concerns raised during the hearing mainly revolved around TikTok's ties to China and the potential risks it poses to American citizens. Senator Hawley alleged that TikTok, being owned by a Chinese Communist company, allows Chinese employees to access and surveil Americans' data, compromising their privacy and potentially enabling surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party.

Q: Did Josh Hawley suggest banning TikTok in the United States? A: Yes, during the hearing, Senator Josh Hawley argued that TikTok should be banned in the United States due to its potential threat to national security. He highlighted the fact that TikTok's data is subject to inspection and control by the Chinese Communist Party, which actively tracks information and whereabouts of Americans.

Q: What evidence was presented regarding TikTok's data privacy practices? A: Senator Hawley referenced leaked audio from over 80 internal TikTok meetings, indicating the company's surveillance of Americans. He also cited a recent Wall Street Journal report that claimed ByteDance workers in China, without official channels, could access private information of American citizens, including birthdates and IP addresses.

Q: How did TikTok's CEO respond to the allegations? A: TikTok's CEO, Mr. Chu, vehemently denied the allegations made by Senator Hawley. He argued that many of the concerns raised had been addressed and clarified. Mr. Chu emphasized the extensive measures TikTok has taken to protect user data, including billions of dollars spent on data protection projects and the efforts of their employees.

Q: What were the broader implications of the heated exchange at the Senate hearing? A: The exchange highlighted the ongoing concerns surrounding TikTok's data privacy practices and its relationship with the Chinese government. It also underscored the increasing scrutiny that Chinese-owned tech companies face in the United States and the potential impact on their operations and accessibility within the country.