Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has once again renewed the push to try and get China’s TikTok app banned from being able to be downloaded and utilized within the United States because of severe concerns that it presents a serious threat to national security.
Rubio issued these statements as part of an interview on CBS News‘s “Face The Nation” alongside host Margaret Brennan while speaking about the company.
“We’re gonna go back to TikTok, people say, you know, ‘Why do we care about what some 16-year-olds are doing?'” explained Rubio, who sits as a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I don’t think the threat is that some 16-year-old likes these cool videos that are on there, which I admit are- are attractive, obviously, because the artificial intelligence makes it so. It’s the massive amount of data that they’re collecting, not on one 16-year-old, not on a thousand 16 year-olds, but on millions and millions of Americans that give them commercial advantages, potentially the advantage of being able to shape American public opinion in a time of crisis, that- that just give them an extraordinary insights that allow them to steer the conversation in this country in any direction they want.”
Even Mark Warner (D-VA), the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, openly agreed about the threat posed by TikTok to the national security of America, stating that at the end of the day, the large corporation is “still responsible to the Communist Party.”
“138 million users in America use TikTok on a regular basis, average about 90 minutes a day,” exclaimed Warner. “I’m sure your network would love to have 138 million Americans spending 90 minutes a day on your network. And I’m not saying that the TikTok or Communist Party is driving the- the videos you see. But the- the fact is, the algorithms that determine what you see on TikTok, is determined out of Beijing by China. And the proof is, if you look at what Chinese kids are seeing on their version of TikTok, which emphasizes science and engineering, versus what our kids and kids around the world are seeing, it is dramatically different.”
Rubio went on to add that he is going to once again refile legislation this year to hopefully see the fullscale ban of TikTok within the U.S.
“It’s bipartisan, bicameral. Some people are not willing to go that far, but I certainly think it’s the right place to be,” stated Rubio. “But in the end, we got to do something about it, whether it’s a ban or something else. I honestly don’t know, I- as I sit here with you today, I don’t know how our national security interests and the operation of TikTok in this country, as long as it’s owned by ByteDance, can coexist.”
“I don't know how our national security interests and the operation of TikTok in this country, as long as it's owned by ByteDance, can coexist.” pic.twitter.com/2CF0l3CFmp
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 29, 2023