Hawley, Blumenthal Call for DOJ Investigation into Zoom, TikTok
TU.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers calling for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation into Zoom and TikTok for reported violations of Americans’ civil liberties and of their close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“Based on numerous reports, we are extremely concerned that Zoom and TikTok have disclosed private information about Americans to the PRC and engaged in censorship on behalf of the Chinese government,” the Senators said. “As tens of millions of Americans turn to Zoom and TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, few know that the privacy of their data and their freedom of expression is under threat due to the relationship of these companies to the Chinese government. Of particular concern, both Zoom and TikTok have sought to conceal and distract from their meaningful ties to China, holding themselves out as American companies. This concealment is alarming – Chinese tech firms are notoriously bound to draconian intelligence laws, media regulations, and extrajudicial pressure that compels them to censor and spy for China’s state security services.”
The Senators continued, “Both Zoom and TikTok have failed to answer even basic questions about their business operations, including who has access to personal information and when they comply with request from China or other governments. We believe that it is imperative that the Department of Justice investigate and determine whether Zoom and TikTok’s business relationships, data handling practices, and operational connections to China pose a risk to Americans.”