ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 3, 2022 (Newswire.com) - TCR Acquisition LLC, a U.S.-owned and operated entity headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, today issued the following statement in response to Kaleyra, Inc.'s July 25, 2022 "Regulation FD" filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In that filing, Kaleyra stated that it is "confident" that it is in compliance with the regulations and other laws administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
According to Frederick Joyce, C.E.O. and General Counsel of TCR Acquisition (www.tcr-acquisition.com), "[t]here is only one way to safely determine if Kaleyra's ownership of The Campaign Registry complies with CFIUS and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, and that is to have this matter reviewed by appropriate federal authorities, not by Kaleyra's executives and its paid attorneys. If Kaleyra's board and senior officers are confident that they have complied with CFIUS and other alien ownership requirements in the U.S., then they should be willing to submit this matter to U.S. governmental review."
The Campaign Registry is the exclusive vendor used by all nationwide mobile telephone companies to verify who sends text messages and what is contained in text messages sent to mobile phones used by U.S. customers. This registry is responsible for screening billions of text messages sent to U.S. mobile phones every month. The senders of these text messages include public law enforcement and safety officials, state and federal election campaigns, not for profit organizations, and thousands of commercial entities.
Increasingly, political campaigns around the country at all levels — from school boards to the U.S. Senate and the Presidency — are relying on text messaging as a convenient means of connecting and communicating directly with voters and supporters. The Campaign Registry plays a crucial role in authenticating and protecting these increasingly important communication channels. Public confidence in the integrity of The Campaign Registry is essential for maintaining and bolstering confidence in the electoral process. It is therefore particularly concerning that foreign ownership and interests could put a thumb on the scale of information flow - or could distort or bias these communication channels in favor of unknown or foreign goals. With 2022 federal election campaigns already in progress, and to ensure the integrity of the 2024 Presidential campaigns, it is critical that The Campaign Registry be owned by a transparent, U.S.-owned and operated entity."
In 2018, Congress passed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) — a major expansion of CFIUS's authority and a standardization of CFIUS processes — enacted largely in response to the threat that Chinese investments sought to dominate U.S. industries such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, robotics, and information technology, as well as to stem potential spying in widely used applications such as TikTok. Public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that The Campaign Registry is owned and controlled by Chinese, Italian and Indian individuals and corporate entities.
"CFIUS review is just one area of concern here," said Frederick Joyce. "The more fundamental problem is that this critically important data registry, The Campaign Registry, with responsibility for screening and validating the entities and phone numbers that the mobile phone sector uses to send billions of messages every month, is owned and controlled by a foreign entity with funding from China and other foreign sources. This has the potential to seriously impact national security and personal data security. It is reasonable to assume that many if not most of the customers that use The Campaign Registry are not even aware of these Chinese ownership issues."
Two years ago, the government of Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the People's Republic of China to participate in China's 'Belt and Road' program that seeks global dominance in every critical infrastructure sector. The fact that Kaleyra is headquartered in Milan, Italy, brings additional attention to this China connection. The high incidence of cyberattacks on Italian businesses provides another justification for ensuring that The Campaign Registry be independently owned by U.S. citizens and operated in accordance with the highest U.S. standards for cyber security and customer data privacy.
"TCR Acquisition" stands for 'Telecommunications Company Repatriation Acquisition.' According to Mr. Joyce: "That is our defining mission: to repatriate into the United States critical and essential telecommunications and Internet services that have been acquired, in whole or in part, by China and other foreign entities that intend to usurp U.S. technology for their own commercial and political benefit." Key members of the TCR Acquisition team have held the nation's highest security clearances and have served in senior positions in the federal government with respect to national security and public safety communications. "We couldn't be more serious about this mission, said Mr. Joyce. "Every member of the TCR Acquisition Team is firmly committed to 'bringing home' essential U.S. communications and Internet services starting with The Campaign Registry."
Frederick M. Joyce, C.E.O./General Counsel
TCR Acquisition LLC
Source: TCR Acquisition LLC