Senate Committees Hold Closed Meeting on Online Influences

DNI officials brief legislators on foreign powers swaying public opinion through social media such as TikTok.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence held a closed-door meeting with the Senate  Intelligence and Commerce committees this week, briefing legislators on the ways that foreign powers are currently using online media to sway public opinion. The meeting notice sent to the senators said that they would look at Chinese, Russian, and Iranian efforts “working to undermine U.S. interests through online activity,” especially with regard to Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine.

One of the concerns is how influencers are spreading pro-Palestinian messages with disinformation through apps like TikTok. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri recently urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to ban all apps that are controlled by China-owned ByteDance, which includes TikTok.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expected the meeting would help develop legislation to effectively address these issues. “We have no framework to look at misinformation that may originate from tech companies” in hostile countries, Senator Warner said. “Sometimes, you have to strike while the iron is hot.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Treasury Secretary Yellen to give due consideration to the request to ban the China-controlled social media apps.
  • For senators as they deliberate ways to reduce the spread of false information and propaganda from foreign nations.
  • For DNI Avril Haines as she informs federal legislators and advises the president regarding intelligence.

Sources: Reuters, SaltWire


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