Congress Passes TikTok Ban on Federal Devices
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 | Comments

The United States Congress passed a bill that will ban TikTok from federal devices.  President Biden is expected to sign this ban into law.  Commissioner Carr issued the following statement welcoming this action:

“TikTok has been engaged in a multi-year campaign to mislead U.S. officials and the American public alike about the unique and unacceptable threats the app poses to our national security and to the health and welfare of our families.  That campaign is now being exposed as nothing short of gaslighting.  So I welcome this important, bipartisan win in the broader effort to address TikTok’s dangers.

“Today’s action only highlights the need for Administration officials to wrap up their ongoing review of TikTok with the speed and urgency that this national security threat demands.  It has been widely reported that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which is housed inside the Treasury Department, has been debating whether it should bless TikTok’s continued operations by moving forward with a preliminary agreement it reached with TikTok over the summer.  Since that preliminary agreement was first reported, a broad and bipartisan cross-section of national security officials have spoken out publicly regarding the dangers of TikTok.  In my view, cutting a deal with TikTok would be a serious mistake.  We cannot take that kind of risk when it comes to America’s national security.

“Indeed, while TikTok has been in the middle of negotiations with Administration officials—when it has had the strongest possible incentives to operate in a trustworthy manner—here is just a sample of the activities it has engaged in.  TikTok’s parent company and its personnel inside China used the app to surveil the locations of journalists that worked on stories highlighting TikTok’s national security risks.  TikTok accounts run by the CCP’s propaganda arm targeted and ran misinformation campaigns about specific U.S. politicians ahead of our recent midterm elections—all while TikTok shielded those accounts’ links to the Chinese Communist Party.  TikTok officials also engaged in clandestine efforts to determine specific details about the Oracle servers that were part of the mitigation measures that CFIUS has been considering, including the locations of those servers.

“I can understand why U.S. officials do not want to cut a deal that will result in them owning all of TikTok’s malign conduct.  But it is time to complete the CFIUS review.  Every day that this drags on is another day that Americans are left exposed to the unique threats posed by TikTok.”

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