Why Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi Wants To Ban TikTok

Why Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi Wants To Ban TikTok

By Emily Baker-White

“Because they have not been fully transparent, I think there’s genuine bipartisan concern now,” the congressman told Forbes of his decision to cosponsor a bill to ban the social media app.

In November, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mike Gallagher announced plans to introduce legislation to ban TikTok from the United States due to potential national security threats raised by the app. On Tuesday, they unveiled the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act — a bill that would do just that.


Joining Rubio and Gallagher was also a new co-sponsor for the bill: Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who serves on the House Oversight and Intelligence Committees. In a wide-ranging conversation with Forbes, Krishnamoorthi detailed his concerns about TikTok, and explained how Democratic lawmakers, who have been comparatively quiet about TikTok, are thinking about the app. There is “genuine bipartisan concern” about TikTok, he told Forbes, adding “concern might be an understatement.”


“I think everybody is uneasy about TikTok.”

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is currently negotiating a contract with the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which began investigating potential national security risks posed by the app in late 2019. TikTok claims the contract will fully address all national security concerns about the app.

But legislators continue to worry. In July, the Senate Intelligence Committee called on the FTC to investigate TikTok for deception, after BuzzFeed News reported that ByteDance employees in China had repeatedly accessed sensitive data about U.S. TikTok users. Later that month, Congress began its own investigation, which it expanded after Forbes reported that a ByteDance team led by a China-based executive had sought to monitor the location of specific American citizens. On Wednesday night, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would ban TikTok from federal government-owned devices.

Krishnamoorthi expressed concern about the Forbes surveillance report, as well as the possibility that the Chinese government could use TikTok or ByteDance to suppress criticism of the Chinese government, promote pro-China narratives or engage in influence operations that could affect American elections. Former ByteDance employees previously told BuzzFeed News that ByteDance used another of its apps, a now-defunct news aggregator called TopBuzz, to push pro-China messages to U.S. citizens. (ByteDance denied the claims.) Forbes reported earlier this year that TikTok accounts run by Chinese state media attacked specific candidates before the U.S. midterms. (Disclosure: In a previous life, I held policy positions at Facebook and Spotify.)

“ByteDance’s Editor in Chief is the secretary of its internal Chinese Communist Party committee, and he stressed that ByteDance’s products must have, quote, ‘correct political direction.’ So what the heck does that mean?”

        – Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL)

Read the rest @ https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilybaker-white/2022/12/15/raja-krishnamoorthi-democrat-tiktok-ban-china/?sh=6c9787e125c2


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