Saying “the American people deserve to know,” A U.S. Senator from Florida wants the Federal Trade Commission to suss out cooperation between a widely-used video conferencing platform and China.
Sen. Rick Scott, a first-term Republican from Florida, issued a media release Wednesday memorializing his call to the FTC to look into a Zoom executive’s “coordinating” with the ruling regime in Beijing.
Scott urged FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons to conduct a “full investigation into Communist China’s growing influence and interference in social telecommunications technology, including companies like Zoom, and what more can be done to protect Americans’ personal identifying information.”
This came in the wake of the Department of Justice’s recent announcement that a former Zoom executive had been charged with working with China to target American dissidents planning to commemorate the Tianammen Square massacre.
“For years, the CCP has done everything possible to become the dominant world power. Communist China has long been accused of forced technology transfers, data localization, and spying on U.S. citizens using Chinese-based companies like TikTok and WeChat, which are obligated by law to hand over data to the CCP,” Scott contended.
“The American people deserve to know exactly how an employee of Zoom, an American video service our citizens use daily, would have the ability to spy on behalf of the CCP.”
“Communist China’s efforts to silence anyone who dares to oppose the CCP is shameful, and it’s even more alarming that it happened right here in the United States. This cannot be tolerated,” Scott said regarding the alleged coordination to quash stateside dissent against Beijing.
For its part, Zoom says the actions were those of a rogue employee.
“While the DOJ did not share with us its factual allegations in advance of the public release of the complaint, we learned during the course of our investigation that the China-based former employee charged today violated Zoom’s policies by, among other things, attempting to circumvent certain internal access controls. We also learned that this former employee took actions resulting in the termination of several meetings and accounts, and shared or directed the sharing of a limited amount of individual user data with Chinese authorities,” asserted a Zoom spokesperson.
“At this stage in our investigation, and with the exception of user data for fewer than ten individual users, we do not believe this former employee or any other Zoom employee provided the Chinese government with user data of non-China-based users. The former employee also potentially shared meeting information for a Tiananmen Square remembrance. There is no indication that any enterprise data was shared with the Chinese government.”