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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, ripped into Facebook on Wednesday in her opening statement for a hearing regarding the company’s proposed cryptocurrency Libra.
Waters’ statement echoed other lawmakers who criticized the social media giant earlier this year when an official for Libra testified before both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.
“Facebook’s plans to create a digital currency, Libra, and a digital wallet, Calibra, raise many concerns relating to privacy, trading risk, discrimination, opportunities for diverse-owned financial firms, national security, monetary policy, and the stability of the global financial system,” Waters said.
“As I have examined Facebook’s various problems, I have come to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for all if Facebook concentrates on addressing its many existing deficiencies and failures before proceeding any further on the Libra project.”
The California lawmaker then skewered the company on its diversity, fair housing advertisement issues, competition and fairness, election disinformation, data protection, and the controversy about the company’s political advertising policy.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, each month 2.7 billion people use your products. That’s over a third of the world’s population. That’s huge,” Waters said. “That’s so big that it’s clear to me and to anyone who hears this list that perhaps you believe you’re above the law, and it appears that you are aggressively increasing the size of your company and are willing to step on or over anyone–including your competitors, women, people of color, your own users and even our democracy to get what you want.”
Waters finished by saying it was “clear” why she and other lawmakers had “serious concerns” about the Libra project.
In July, the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to Facebook asking the company to “immediately agree to a moratorium” on Libra.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).