published by: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last update: April 29, 2023, 1:03 p.m. HST
Washington, United States
The Biden administration outlined efforts this week to address growing U.S. national security concerns about foreign companies’ handling of Americans’ data.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told a US Senate hearing that the department is working “to secure our communications and technology networks and we are currently in the process of hiring a team to do surveillance, investigations and enforcement”.
Raimondo told Reuters after the hearing “we are hiring dozens of people” to “look out for any company that may pose an undue security risk to our networks or data.”
Concerns about Chinese-owned TikTok have prompted new efforts in Congress to bolster the powers needed to address it or potentially ban the popular short-video sharing app.
On Wednesday, Biden administration agencies briefed senators in an unprecedented closed session on “foreign adversaries’ exploitation of U.S. data from social media platforms, data brokers and others.” corporations,” according to Republican Senator Jerry Moran.
Commerce Undersecretary for Industry and Security Alan Estevez was among those handling information and communications technology (ICTS) supply chain threats, the department said. .
About 20 senators attended the briefing organized by the Commerce Committee, aides said.
Last month, Senators Mark Warner and John Thune, joined by 24 other senators, proposed the Restraint Act to grant the Commerce Department new power to review or block a range of transactions involving foreigners that pose risks. for national security.
“I think it’s a top priority and we need to act urgently,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during a Senate hearing Wednesday on the legislative effort. “It’s more than a business and it’s a constant and pervasive threat and we need the permanent tools properly funded expertise.”
The White House and Raimondo support the restriction act. Critics say the bill is too broad and undermines the civil liberties of Americans, including the more than 150 million American TikTok users. Tiktok denies improper use of US data.
Raimondo said the department has been active in countering threats from China.
“I have added over 200 Chinese companies to the Entity List during my tenure and we are actively and constantly investigating additional threats and if and as we believe the companies should be listed, I will not hesitate. “, she said.
Days before President Donald Trump leaves office in 2021, the Commerce Department issued an order to address ICTS concerns raised by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela .
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)