Suits: ‘J. Edgar Hoover would slap TikTok across the face’ in hearings

Mar 23, 2023, 12:18 PM | Updated: 12:22 pm


WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew takes questions from Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 23, 2023 in Washington, DC. The hearing was a rare opportunity for lawmakers to question the leader of the short-form social media video app about the company's relationship with its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and how they handle users' sensitive personal data. Some local, state, and federal government agencies have been banning the use of TikTok by employees, citing concerns about national security. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The CEO of TikTok, a subsidiary of Chinese tech company ByteDance, appeared before a congressional committee arguing that TikTok prioritizes user safety and should not be banned amid concerns the video-sharing app is a national security threat.

CEO Shou Zi Chew told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that, “ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country.”

TikTok CEO faces off with Congress over security fears

Still, concerns exist about the safety of valuable and confidential information of the millions of Americans that use TikTok falling into the wrong hands of the Chinese government, or worse, being promoted content detrimental to “Americans’ mental and physical health,” according to Republican Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL).

“So when you think about Chinese surveillance, you have to look at the big picture. And what the Chinese intelligence services have gotten really good at is taking big chunks of data about Americans and then putting them together in useful ways,” Alex Stamos, the founder of a cybersecurity firm and former NATO cybersecurity advisor, said. “They broke into Experian, and they stole all this data on Americans credit profiles, they broke into an anthem, one of the largest health care providers, they broke into the Office of Personnel Management, and stole the classification records over 20 million American employees. You put all that together, and you can build a kind of knowledge about the entire ladder.”

Bryan Suits shared his concerns on the Bryan Suits show that the app was being used to harm children and steal their information.

“If America is wide open with information, why not make an app that can bend the minds of the children that are going to grow up and be in the fighter planes and the whole thing? Why not do that if you’re playing the long game anyway,” Suits said. “This is what the Chinese use all their apps and all their hacking to do, and make no mistake, TikTok is a hack.”

More from Bryan Suits: ‘I had a nose full of Seattle in 30 seconds’ while riding the bus

You can listen to Bryan’s full discussion of the hearings here:

Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Suits: ‘J. Edgar Hoover would slap TikTok across the face’ in hearings