Cotton, Schumer Call for Probe into Chinese App TikTok
By ZACHARY EVANS
24 October 2019
Senators Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) sent a joint letter late Wednesday to acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire asking him to determine whether Chinese social media app TikTok poses a national security risk.
TikTok allows users to share short videos of themselves, generally singing or dancing, and has an enormous worldwide following among teenagers. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that ISIS has been using the app to share propaganda videos, and has even uploaded clips of prisoner beheadings.
“With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore,” Cotton and Schumer wrote. “Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings.”
The Senators wrote that the app collects a wide range of data including the locations of its users. While that data is stored in the U.S., Cotton and Schumer pointed out that TikTok “is still required to adhere to the laws of China,” which could “compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”