TikTok an iOS and Android social media video app “possess threat to the national security”, senators say. This popular video sharing app from China that gained popularity from 2017 and is widely used around the world for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos, is now making rounds for inflicting threat to the National Security according to Schumer and Cotton, the two senior members of Congress.
The Guardian reported that ByteDance, the Beijing-headquartered technology company that owns TikTok, “is advancing Chinese foreign policy aims abroad”.
Chuck Schumer, and Tom Cotton two senior most senators on wednesday aimed at the famous most Chinese-owned video app, TikTok, and called for US intelligence officials to investigate it for any threats to national security that it may pose, warning particularly that it could be used to interfere in US elections.They also worry that the platform could be used to spread political propaganda campaigns.
The washington post first reported the letter written to the Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire,on Thursday, evoked officials to investigate TikTok’s data collection practices to check whether the Chinese government has to say anything in what content Americans see on the app.
“Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings,” Schumer and Cotton wrote.
And they further added, “With over 110m downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counter-intelligence threat we cannot ignore,” Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton wrote.
It was seen in the past year that the lawmakers are more concerned over the companies that operate in the US which are in ties with China.
In February, the Federal Trade Commission fined Musical.ly (former name of TikTok) with $5.7 million when it failed to obtain parental consent before collecting data of children under thirteen like, locations, email address, phone numbers, first and last names, and profile pictures. According to the FTC ( Federal Trade Commission) this was the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the Commission in a children’s privacy case.
Marco Antonio Rubio, senator from Florida wrote to Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary asking Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate Tik Tok for possible national security threats and also about the censorship. Last month, The Guardian reported that Tik Tok requires its moderators to censor any content that refers to Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or Falun Gong. However, the above guidelines are said to be outdated by the Tik Tok moderators and also that the Chinese government has no influence over it.
“These Chinese-owned apps are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Community Party,” Marco Antonio Rubio said.