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Democrat Calls Out Biden’s Hypocrisy on Security Risk of TikTok

via CNN
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said he doesn’t have a TikTok account due to national security concerns raised by FBI Director Christopher Wray about China-based employees’ ability to manipulate data and algorithms on the platform.

Krishnamoorthi cited testimony that TikTok owner ByteDance is beholden to China and can access US user data in ways they claim aren’t possible.

While not dictating presidential communications, he doesn’t use TikTok personally or officially due to these issues.

“I’m not going to tell the President how to communicate. That’s not my purview. But I don’t personally have a TikTok account, either on my government device — which is, by the way, it’s prohibited for all members of Congress — but also on my personal device, and the reason is very simple: TikTok is owned by a company called ByteDance,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“ByteDance is a PRC-based company which is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, and in repeated hearings now, under sworn testimony, we’ve heard various officials of the government and otherwise explain to us how China-based employees are able to both manipulate the algorithm underlying TikTok and also to access U.S. user data in ways that go against what TikTok says is even possible now.”

“And that’s why, at the end of the day, Chris Wray has said that TikTok screams out with ‘national security concerns.‘ And so, I’m going to continue to look at the situation very carefully and try to work on a bipartisan basis to deal with it,” he said.

When asked if Biden having a campaign TikTok was hypocritical given the administration banning it on government devices, Krishnamoorthi said banning it for personal/campaign use differs from government bans, but he wants legislation giving authority to force selling TikTok so it’s not owned by a company answerable to an adversarial regime like China.

“[I]s it a bit hypocritical for the President, on one end, to push for a ban on government-owned phones, and then, at the same time, extend he and his campaign out on this platform?” Ryan Nobles asked.

“Well, I think that it’s one thing to ban it on our government devices. I think it’s another thing to do it on a personal device or a campaign device. But, at the end of the day, I’d like to give the Biden administration the authorities through legislation to actually force a sale of TikTok. We don’t want to see a ban of TikTok. … But we just don’t want TikTok to be owned by a company beholden to an adversarial regime,” Krishnamoorthi said.

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