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‘TikTok Can Threaten America’s Safety, National Security’: White House Press Secretary

Washington: Chinese-owned video hosting service TikTok can threaten America’s safety and its national security, the White House said on Thursday (Local Time). Responding to a media query over the TikTok ban during a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We have expressed concerns over China’s potential use of software platforms that could endanger or threaten America’s safety and national security so that is the President concerned that is why we have called on Congress to take action.”

“We have seen a bipartisan piece of legislation that you know and have been covering, which is the President’s main priority. I am sure when it comes to their safety when it comes to their security and when it comes to our national security, those things are protected and so that has been the President’s focus over the last couple of years,” she added.

In the press briefing, the White House press secretary further stated that Sophia, who is reviewing this particular software and the TikTok app, supports the bipartisan legislation mentioned earlier.

“Look the bottom line is that when it comes to potential threats to our national security, the safety of Americans, privacy, we are going to speak out and we are going to be very clear about that and the Prez has been last 2 years and so we are asking Congress to act, to move forward with this bipartisan legislation that was the strict action that we just mentioned and we are going to continue to do so,” Pierre said.

This statement from the White House Press Secretary came after the group of Senators introduced the “Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology” (RESTRICT) Act. The Act would give new powers to the US government to take action against technologies posing risk to the country.

The group of Senators led by senators Mark Warner and John Thune introduced the Bill that seeks to address the ongoing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries by empowering the US Department of Commerce to review, prevent, and mitigate information communications and technology transactions that pose risk to national security like TikTok.

US Senator John Thune said Congress needs to stop taking a “piecemeal approach” with respect to technology from “adversarial nations that pose national security risks”.

“Our country needs a process in place to address these risks, which is why I’m pleased to work with Senator Warner to establish a holistic, methodical approach to address the threats posed by technology platforms like TikTok from foreign adversaries,” Thune said in a statement.

“This bipartisan legislation would take a necessary step to ensure consumers` information and our communications technology infrastructure is secure,” he added.

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