Rep. Gaetz Warns of Chinese-Owned Website’s Threat to Military Families

At the request of Rep. Matt Gaetz, the US military’s cybersecurity division has agreed to investigate an alleged educational website that could be a front for the Chinese Communist Party and target military families.

In an email to residents on Saturday, the Fort Walton Beach Republican promoted, an online business that connects pupils as young as kindergarten to tutors.

Gaetz recalled the Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems Subcommittee hearing held last Wednesday. The hearing focused on military operations in cyberspace and the development of cyber capabilities within the Department of Defense.

The congressman was “astounded” to hear that many youngsters from military families utilize as a learning tool, despite its “clear and obvious” potential use as a “Chinese propaganda tool.”

Rep. Gaetz Warns of Chinese-Owned Website's Threat to Military Families

“I ensured that the commander of US Cyber Command, Gen. Timothy Haugh, was fully aware of this security risk. Fortunately, he has agreed to further investigating this matter,” Gaetz wrote.

Gaetz discussed with Haugh at that hearing. He noted that the corporation is owned by Chinese nationalists via an American subsidiary.

On its website, states that it “voluntarily initiated a rigorous federal review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to ensure that stringent safeguards would be put in place to protect customer and student data, along with mechanisms that provide for constant monitoring and compliance.” As a result, our data privacy measures are among the most thorough and rigorous of any provider of education services in the United States.”

“As an American company, remains dedicated to the values, goals, and practices that we have championed over two decades of serving institutions and learners—foremost among which is protecting customer and learner data.”

Despite this, Gaetz said that Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. recently informed education authorities across the state that is truly Chinese-owned.

Rep. Gaetz Warns of Chinese-Owned Website's Threat to Military Families

Diaz stated in a letter last month that school districts, charter schools, and state institutions should avoid contracting with corporations with ties to foreign countries that may compromise student data. Institutions must take the appropriate precautions to keep their students safe from malicious foreign actors like the Chinese Communist Party.”

Gaetz expressed dismay that the Defense Department continued to offer families access to following Diaz’s letter.

Haugh stated that his department would take a closer look at the website.

“We want to dive deeper and ensure we’re not bringing risk by whomever we partner with and whatever company,” Haugh was quoted as saying by Gaetz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *