Government Watch / Instagram / National Security / Politics

Biden Ignores TikTok National Security Threat for Political Expediency

AMAC Exclusive – By Louis J. Senn

In recent weeks, Republican and Democrat lawmakers as well as top national security officials within the Biden administration have raised serious concerns that the Chinese government may be using TikTok, a popular social media app, to harvest and weaponize data from American users – something that former President Donald Trump warned about back in 2020. But even as Biden’s own advisors raise the alarm about the seriousness of this threat, he has stubbornly refused to take action.

TikTok was launched in 2016 and is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It quickly rose to become the fastest growing app of all time, and has roughly 100 million downloads in the United States. More than two thirds of American teens are on the platform, which allows users to create short videos accompanied by popular songs or soundbites.

However, the app’s Chinese roots have lawmakers and foreign policy experts worried that the app could pose a serious threat to U.S. national security. According to a 2017 Chinese law, all Chinese businesses are required to assist the Chinese government with intelligence gathering and must share all of their data with Beijing. In practice, this could mean that ByteDance transmits to the Chinese government sensitive information collected from users’ phones that the CCP could use to build files on American users for blackmail, espionage, or other nefarious purposes. With many elected Democrats as well as high-ranking Biden administration officials on the platform, the idea that the Chinese government may be able to remotely access virtually all the information on any phone with TikTok downloaded on it should be deeply concerning.

Earlier this month, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced legislation which would ban TikTok and other Chinese-owned social media companies from operating in the United States. Senator Tom Cotton similarly tweeted that “Tik Tok is one of the most massive surveillance programs ever.” In an appearance on Fox News Sunday last week, Virginia Democrat Senator Mark Warner echoed that sentiment, saying that “TikTok is an enormous threat… all of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.” Even the Director of the FBI said earlier this month that he was “extremely concerned” about the danger posed by TikTok to control data collection on millions of users.”

While fresh revelations about just how much data TikTok could be harvesting have thrust the debate over the app back into the national spotlight, national security concerns posed by the platform are nothing new. In August 2020, President Trump attempted to ban TikTok through an executive order. In his order, Trump cited the risks the app posed to national security due to TikTok’s automatic collection of “vast swaths of information from its users, including internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search history.”

In response, TikTok successfully filed suit to prevent the order from going into effect. Even after the election, as late as December 2020, the Trump administration was continuing to try to find a U.S. company to purchase TikTok’s American business in order to protect Americans’ data.

However, soon after taking office, President Biden reversed course and paved the way for TikTok to continue its U.S. operations. In July 2021, the Biden Administration and TikTok filed a mutual request to drop the lawsuit between the two parties stemming from Trump’s original executive order.

But that didn’t stop the damning stream of revelations about TikTok’s U.S. operations. Through leaked audio in June, ByteDance employees revealed that employees in China had access to all of the data. This seemingly contradicts TikTok’s assurances otherwise. After the leaks and other subsequent reports, this revelation led FCC commissioner Brendan Carr to request that Apple and Google remove TikTok from their respective app stores, stating that: “TikTok is not just another video app. That’s the sheep’s clothing. It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.”

Instead of taking action to address these serious concerns, Joe Biden only further embraced the platform – especially as the midterms approached and Democrats desperately needed high turn-out among the younger demographics who predominantly use the platform. In March, the White House infamously provided a briefing to “TikTok stars” on the war in Ukraine, hoping that the top users would peddle the administration’s version of events to their millions of followers. Then, in October, the White House again hosted nearly two dozen TikTok creators in an effort to sell its midterm message to young voters who are more likely to vote Democrat. This strategy led even the normally friendly Washington Post to call Biden and TikTok an “odd couple,” acknowledging that the White House views TikTok as an important political tool in spite of the national security risks it poses.

Democrats’ reliance on TikTok to communicate with younger voters raises other important questions about the potential for China to manipulate the social media feeds of millions of Americans to influence election outcomes.

Americans deserve to know that their government is committed to preventing foreign powers from harvesting their personal data for nefarious political purposes. They should feel confident using the internet without fear that they are serving the interests of U.S. adversaries. But until Biden ends his détente with TikTok – a détente driven, by all indications, for pure political gain – one of the world’s most popular social media platforms will remain an enormous vulnerability to U.S. national security.

Louis J. Senn is a lawyer living in Louisville, Kentucky. He previously served in the Trump administration.

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1 month ago

Biden is such a traitor of America he is completely compromised with China, and is putting America in danger of being over ran by selling our land to China and open borders , letting fentinal come across the borders to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. Biden is the biggest traitor and threat to the American people, people need to pick up the book Monroe Doctrine its about going to war with China they invade America and how they open up platforms to get intelligence from us.

1 month ago

As a programmer from back in the day, what I have witnessed in the cyber field is scary and dangerous. We are so far behind where we should be regarding cybersecurity. I am surprised that there hasn’t been a complete internet shutdown. But it will if we don’t fix our educational system quickly.

J. Farley
1 month ago

TIK-TOK sounds like a bomb about to go off!
It might have been named right; I think it’s bad news!

1 month ago

All Bidum knows is that is what clocks do: tic toc, tic toc.
And China is his and Hunter’s best friend and source of money.

1 month ago

…likely Milley’s venue of choice for helping him understand white rage…maybe.

David Millikan
1 month ago

Of course DICTATOR Beijing biden
will ignore Communist China TikTok since Google are both same. Google giving FBI 5,723 names, addresses, location and phone numbers ILLEGALLY for those that attended protest on January 6, 2021.
How else can DICTATOR Beijing biden SPY on AMERICANS ILLEGALLY. His Master, Communist China Xi buddy gives him Orders and the FASCIST liberals follow.
DICTATOR Beijing biden NOT Banning Communist China TikTok
as National Security THREAT

1 month ago

When the Biden family harvests more income from China than could ever be earned from Joe’s salary as an American politician, it’s easy to figure out where his loyalties lie. No surprise there. That one third of the US population is more concerned about their own amusement than the security and future of their own country makes me think that MK Ultra was childsplay compared to the current level of thought control being deployed through media and the so called education system! Social media has been a valuable tool for our own government’s ability to surveil and influence the people. In an administration that doesn’t believe in rule of law, borders, sovereignty or privacy, don’t expect any action against data harvesting!

1 month ago

Dementia Joe has an America Last policy and is not concerned about national security.Just consider is negative policies on:- Energy, fossil fuel production and distribution – Strategic Petroleum Reserve depletion – Open Border Policy- climate change policy: substituting renewal energy which is unreliable for base power generation fuels, coal, oil, gas, nuclear- Electric Vehicles: no expansion on mining raw materials domestically, rather using foreign source contmrolled by the CCP. Beside there is not a power grud capable of handling a large increase in very expensive EV- Oil exploration: not domestically, rather foreign with very unfriendly governements.So it is no surprise that he has nit acted on TicTok. Besides, it is controlled by his buddies in the CCP. FJB LGB

Ray Wilson Sr
1 month ago

The upsetting part of this is President Trump saw this and want to get rid of it.

1 month ago

When not if China invades America they will lead our house and senate elected to a wall for execution. Then Biden will meet his Chinese masters as the traitor he is . His actions during world war 2 and Korea would have been met with prison or the last walk. Hopefully the new House leaders can stop these domestic threats.It is sad to see the price paid by veterans and realize what America has become. IMO

Jerry Pitman
1 month ago

Could TikTok be the leak from the overturn of abortion?

1 month ago

China owns the Biden Family…what would one expect?

1 month ago

Joe Biden is actively working against the USAs security and facilitating passing of information to Beijing. This is very concerning and shows Joe may be compromised. The Manchurian candidate is in office.

1 month ago

FJB is probably an investor or as a minimum his son is…

1 month ago

Biden’s action/nonfiction is proof the Biden family is in league with China. And China issues the marching orders and Biden dances.

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

ALL Dems should use TikTok & then blame them for security issues OK

1 month ago

While the author provides a rational and logic argument for banning TikTok and potentially other Chinese apps or hardware designed specifically to gather data on their American users here in the United States, I don’t expect Team Biden or even a majority of the Democrat Party would support such a measure. Valid national security concerns take a distant third place behind both the political alliance most Democrats in Washington feel for the authoritarian regime in Beijing, as well as the personal desire to keep the monetary and political assistance from the CCP here in the United States flowing.

If Americans are rightly concerned about what Chinese apps like TikTok are doing with the user data that is being collected on them by the CCP, then they should simply discontinue the use of such apps and delete them from their electronic devices ASAP. No one is forced to download and use TikTok. At least not yet. With the way Apple is going lately, there is no telling whether or not Apple might include the app as part of their standard install set on new iphones in the future. So just take a little personal responsibility and eliminate the threat from your own devices. It’s simple enough to do, rather than just sitting around and waiting for the federal government to do a national ban that will never take place.

1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

I agree as Americans we should take and own the responsibility of not downloading that app or deleting it if it is installed on our phones. It is frightening to know that our government, this regime, is steadfast and assuredly, anti-American, and selling us out from the inside. 

1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

In theory that’s an option. Unfortunately, we have a populace that has been brain washed and are totally ignorant about what is going on in this country and the world. The article states 2/3 of teens have the app down loaded on their phones and I am sure they are totally indifferent to the security issues it presents. Adults are no different. As long as the Biden administration continues to be in bed with the CCP on multiple levels, we are in serious trouble.

1 month ago
Reply to  Terry

A population too ignorant or lazy to defend its own rights and freedoms is a population that will soon have neither. That is a universal concept you will find exists virtiually everywhere around the world.

The federal government is a necessary evil in order to have a common defense to protect the nation and its people. Beyong that, it has little if any real value to society as a whole. Yet we keep allowing ours to keep growing and expanding into more aspects of our lives with each passing day. That’s what happens when the people aren’t paying attention to what is going on. No one is minding the store. If people think the federal government is there to make decisions on their personal behalf on issues the people should have th intellectual capacity to make themselves, like simply deleting a simple app off a cell phone, then they are already way down the road towards serfdom.

Sandra Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

I wonder if anyone has read “White Lotus” by John Hersey?

1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

WOW, advocating personal responsibility, HOW REFRESHING and unfortunate as it seems will likely be misunderstood by a lot of folks on this platform even. Take it a step further and vote with the dollars we still have by utilizing and actually, sacrificially exercising what you believe by not purchasing with companies spending money to undermine what you say your values are…at 2ndvote dot com! CAUTION, you’ll need to give up Starbucks…

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