A duo of bipartisan lawmakers took to CNN to raise the alarm about the dangers of TikTok and its communist Chinese government-tied parent company ByteDance.
In an interview on CNN’s The Lead, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) reacted to a lawsuit filed against TikTok. When asked by host Jake Tapper about China’s “supreme access” to users’ data on TikTok, Gallagher called for a bipartisan consensus on a national ban of TikTok if they refuse to sever its ties with its CCP-tied company. Echoing Gallagher’s concerns, Krishnamoorthi said claims in the lawsuit match the information provided by a whistleblower last month.
TikTok can exfiltrate your data, track your location, and censor the news you see.
Rep. Gallagher outlines why this is a threat and why we need to ban or force a sale of the app before it’s too late. pic.twitter.com/5IPxPAJKqE
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) May 19, 2023
“We need to arrive in a unified position here in the House. I’d like to arrive in a bipartisan position. We actually have a bipartisan, bicameral bill,” Gallagher said to Tapper in reference to the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act, a bill dually introduced in the House and Senate, co-sponsored by Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Gallagher’s Press Office shared the CNN interview, saying, “TikTok can exfiltrate your data, track your location, and censor the news you see.” The tweet also added.
The bill, if passed, would effectively prohibit the TikTok app from operating in the U.S. if it doesn’t separate from ByteDance. ByteDance dismissed the bill, calling it “politically motivated” and claiming it doesn’t address the alleged national security concerns, a point Gallagher previously rejected.
“I’m in favor of a ban for sale because we can’t allow TikTok to become the most dominant media platform in America,” the Wisconsin lawmaker told Tapper, adding that TikTok’s ability to control the news and “determine what young Americans get in terms of their new” was “very dangerous.”
TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified on March 23 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he disputed allegations that China controls TikTok. But Gallagher warned that Chew might have lied to Congress. “The allegations of this employee contradict in many ways the testimony of TikTok CEO before Congress months ago,” he said.
Gallagher’s comments were supported by Krishnamoorthi, who brought up the damning testimony of a TikTok whistleblower who explained what happens to the data collected by the infamous app. “We need to remember that ByteDance is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party at the very highest levels,” the Illinois Democrat warned.
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