Cotton: TikTok Like a ‘Trojan Horse’ on American Cell Phones

Sunday, during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) discussed the threat to American national security concerns by Chinese-owned TikTok.

Cotton called the social media application a “Trojan horse” on cell phones.

“TikTok is like a Trojan horse on American cell phones,” he said. “And that’s why I commend the president for taking the action to ban TikTok in America if it is not wholly owned and operated by an American parent company. I encouraged the administration about a year ago to conduct the security review that ultimately led to this decision. That’s because, to most Americans, TikTok seems like a harmless, fun, short-form video app, but behind that app on your phone is a vacuum of data of everything on your device, contacts, e-mails, text messages, photographs, social media posts, even browser history, keystrokes, and location data.

“That all goes back to servers in China, where it can be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party for decades to come,” Cotton continued. “That’s why, if TikTok is going to operate in the United States, it has to have an American parent and be wholly owned and operated, not just the servers and the data, but all of the source code, the algorithms, the engineers. There can be no lingering ties to China. And I think we have to be reasonably skeptical about any American companies to do that. They have to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the U.S. government, that they can sever all those ties. Otherwise, these software companies will have to be banned in America, for the safety and the privacy of Americans, especially our kids.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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