Sen. Dan Sullivan is no fan of TikTok.
In fact, as a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, he is calling for hearings on the Chinese company’s social media app, which has quite possibly scraped private data from millions of American users.
In a letter to the Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantrell and to Sen. Ted Cruz, Sullivan said there is a serious national security risk that should be investigated.
“Since the last hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee featuring TikTok on October 26, 2021, many of the concerns raised by members on both sides of the aisle have been validated. In fact, TikTok was recently forced to acknowledge that China-based employees of the parent company, ByteDance, have had access to U.S. user data,” Sullivan said.
In 2020, former President Donald Trump tried to ban the application in the U.S. TikTok sued, saying that it was Trump’s effort to boost his reelection bid by enacting protectionist trade policies. He was unelected from office before he could get his ban through court.
“Now, there is a growing bipartisan recognition of the problem and momentum for further congressional scrutiny. FBI Director Chris Wray confirmed during a recent House Homeland Security Committee hearing that the bureau has ongoing “national security concerns” about the U.S. operations of TikTok. He specifically outlined concerns that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could use TikTok to obtain data on millions of users, manipulate algorithms to influence our children, and potentially even compromise specific personal devices,” Sullivan wrote.
“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner recently agreed that former President Trump was right about the need to ban the application in the U.S. citing the troubling influence that China could exert over American children. CIA Director Bill Burns has also recently voiced concerns, and so too has FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. Most recently, Congress took an important step in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 to ban the application from all federal government devices. Numerous states, including Alaska, have also banned the application on state government devices. However, more needs to be done,” he wrote.
Earlier this month, Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a state ban on TikTok apps on State-owned devices.