Florida Representative Gaetz Raises Concerns Over Chinese-Owned Website Targeting Military Families

Florida Representative Gaetz Raises Concerns Over Chinese-Owned Website Targeting Military Families

Rep. Matt Gaetz asked the U.S. military’s cybersecurity office to look into a website that targets military families and is said to be an educational one. The website could be a front for the Chinese Communist Party.

The Fort Walton Beach Republican told his voters about Tutor.com in an email on Saturday. Tutor.com is an online service that matches students with tutors—from kindergarten on up.

Gaetz talked about a meeting of the Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems Subcommittee that happened last Wednesday. The hearing was mostly about military activities in cyberspace and making the whole Department of Defense better at using cyberspace.

The representative said he was “astounded” to learn that Tutor.com is used as a learning tool by many kids from military families, even though it is “clear and obvious” that it could be used as a “Chinese propaganda tool.”

“I made sure that Gen. Timothy Haugh, who is in charge of U.S. Cyber Command, knew about this security issue.” “Thank goodness he has promised to look into this matter further,” Gaetz wrote.

Gaetz brought up Tutor.com with Haugh at that meeting. He said that the business is run by Chinese nationalists through an American branch.

To make sure that strict safeguards are put in place to protect customer and student data, along with ways to make sure that they are always being monitored and followed, Tutor.com says on its website that it “voluntarily initiated a rigorous federal review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)”. Because of this, our data security policies are some of the strictest and most thorough of any U.S. education services provider.

“As an American company, Tutor.com stays true to the values, goals, and practices that we have fought for over 20 years of serving schools and students. Protecting customer and student data is the most important of these.”

Gaetz did say that Florida’s Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. recently told school leaders across the state in a letter that Tutor.com is actually owned by Chinese people.

In a letter sent last month, Diaz said, “Let me be clear: school districts, charter schools, and state colleges should not work with companies that have ties to dangerous foreign countries and could leak student data.” Schools must do what they need to do to keep their kids safe from bad foreign actors like the Chinese Communist Party.

Gaetz said he was upset that the Defense Department still let families use Tutor.com after Diaz’s letter.

Haugh said that his company would take a closer look at the page.

“We want to go deeper and make sure that no matter who we work with or what company we work with, we’re not putting ourselves at risk,” Haugh told Gaetz.

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