Wisconsin Congressman Calls on LinkedIn to Remove Job Listings for Companies That Pose Security Threats

U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) this week urged the head of the career-networking website LinkedIn to prohibit the platform from posting job openings at companies posing security threats to America. 

Gallagher, who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee, penned a letter to LinkedIn Chief Executive Officer Ryan Roslansky, drawing particular attention to companies with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The congressman stated that the site welcomes thousands of employment-opportunity notices from China-based corporations the U.S. government flags as national security and privacy risks. 

One Chinese company about which Gallagher raised particular concerns was the drone manufacturer DJI. Months ago, he clashed with U.S.-based lobbyists for working against legislation he sponsored to bar federal departments from obtaining drone machinery from foreign firms. The U.S. government has noted DJI “actively support[s] the biometric surveillance and tracking of ethnic and religious minorities in China.”

The lawmaker also criticized LinkedIn for allowing the communication-technology firm Huawei access to its site; the Federal Communication recently banned imports from Huawei, citing security risks. Both Huawei and DJI appear on a federal list of Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (CMIC) in which Americans are generally disallowed to invest financially. 

“Chinese companies like [DJI, Huawei] and their affiliates have been placed on these critical export control lists because they pose grave threats to U.S. national security and engage in activities that threaten to undermine established norms for human rights and data privacy,” Gallagher wrote to Roslansky.

The congressman observed that LinkedIn featured a DJI posting in July advertising the position of “Manager of U.S. Government Relations.” The company sought a lobbyist who “shares [DJI’s] vision of a future….” Gallagher commented that he hoped LinkedIn does not share that vision and noted that the DJI now has eight active job postings on the site. 

He added that DJI also has a spot on the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Entity List that places export constraints on companies appearing thereon. In the case of DJI and several other companies, BIS points to human-rights violations committed in China “through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance.” The corporation has also been flagged for participating in the export of items “that aid repressive regimes around the world, contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests” and for aiding the Chinese armed forces directly. 

Gallagher furthermore mentioned that LinkedIn’s platform contains thousands of Huawei employment postings. 

The congressman cited an announcement Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel made in February that at least $5.6 billion has been devoted to defraying the expense to American communication-service companies of removing insecure China-manufactured equipment from American communication infrastructure. 

“…The decision to elevate careers with companies I address in this letter cannot be overlooked,” Gallagher wrote. “According to the LinkedIn website, you ‘operate collectively under a shared set of values that are driven by our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.’ These values serve as the guideposts for decisions you make, and I hope you will make the right one here and remove job postings from nefarious actors on USG entity lists from your platform.”

LinkedIn’s press department did not return an email seeking comment on any action the company would take in light of Gallagher’s request. 

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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Wisconsin Daily Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike Gallagher” by Mike Gallagher. 



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