During a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, TikTok's CEO Shou Zi Chew stated that the term "spying" is inappropriate when referring to the accusations of Chinese surveillance of Americans via his company's social media platform.
Chew was questioned by Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL) regarding whether ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has engaged in spying on American citizens.
“I don’t think that ‘spying’ is the right way to describe it,” Chew said.
Here’s the clip: pic.twitter.com/IYZcT52r2C
— D. Cohen (@tallRevere) March 23, 2023
Dunn inquired about a news report that stated the FBI and Justice Department are currently investigating ByteDance. This came after the company confirmed the termination of four employees for using the controversial app to track the location of two journalists in the United States.
The national security and privacy concerns related to TikTok have escalated in Washington, DC, with lawmakers considering an outright ban of the app or implementing privacy legislation to address these concerns. Some have suggested that TikTok should be separated from ByteDance.
Count Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) among those looking to ban the popular app. Hawley shared a tweet that states the CCP has the ability to manipulate TikTok content and captioned it "Then we all agree. Now ban it."
Then we all agree. Now ban it https://t.co/hP6Ie2Udrt
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 23, 2023
And that’s how you know banning TikTok is a good idea https://t.co/utiBi1gqmx
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 23, 2023
While House lawmakers were questioning the TikTok CEO, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) urged his fellow lawmakers to refrain from using TikTok. He went on to describe the app as one of the “biggest geopolitical threats America has ever faced.”
Mid-hearing, Sen. Tillis calls on members of Congress to stop using TikTok. (Pretty wild that some are even still using it.) pic.twitter.com/ziATfrMqkc
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) March 23, 2023
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