WASHINGTON DC — Two U.S. Senators are flagging social media platform TikTok for potential cybersecurity threats.
In a public letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are calling for an investigation of Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
The senators say in the letter, “with over 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore".
TikTok is owned by Chinese company Bytedance Inc., and concern for possible foreign influence campaigns are top of mind as the U.S. is a little more than a year away from a presidential election.
In the letter, the senators highlight those concerns saying, “questions have … been raised regarding the potential for censorship or manipulation of certain content. TikTok reportedly censors materials deemed politically sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party, including content related to the recent Hong Kong protests, as well as references to Tiananmen Square, Tibetan and Taiwanese independence, and the treatment of Uighurs. The platform is also a potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 2016 election on U.S.-based social media platforms.”