Since the social media giant TikTok has become woven into the social fabric of the United States, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has pushed back against Chinese-owned app and its parent company, ByteDance.
Sen. Rubio questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray about the ability of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to use and manipulate the app’s media in order to influence and control the data of its users.
Director Wray answered that yes, the CCP has the capacity to “control the software on millions of devices” and could “make sure that Americans are seeing videos arguing why Taiwan belongs to China” as Sen. Rubio questioned.
Wray would go on to mention that “I think the most fundamental piece that cuts across every one of those risks and threats that [Rubio] mentioned, that I think Americans need to understand, is that something that's very sacred in our country, the difference between the private sector and the public sector—that's a line that is nonexistent in the way the CCP operates.”
Due to the revelations from the U.S. Intelligence Community, Senators Rubio and Joni Ernst (R-IA) have introduced the No Funds for Enablers of Adversarial Propaganda Act.
The bill itself is simple: it looks to “deny federal funds to any individual or entity if it has an agreement, partnership, or advertisement with TikTok.”
“Chinese-owned TikTok is a threat, but some entities, including our nation’s airports, are still willing to accept advertising dollars from the company. They are either naive, greedy, or both. Regardless, they shouldn’t receive taxpayer dollars if they are going to accept money from or partner with TikTok. These companies need to stop enabling Chinese Communist Party propaganda and espionage efforts,” stated Rubio.
According to the Rubio press release, the Florida Senator will look to bar the company from operating in the United States.