Rubio knocks CIA over consideration of TikTok presence

It is. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Hillicon Valley – Pro-Chinese group tries to mobilize US protests Legislators doubt SolarWinds hack’s impact on US law firms The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden Agenda Questions; Unemployment benefit ends MORE (R-Fla.) Knocked out the CIA Thursday over reports that the agency was considering establishing a presence on TikTok, which lawmakers have been scrutinizing for its ties to China.

Rubio wrote a letter to the CIA director William BurnsWilliam BurnsThe Taliban and the West Need Each Other Reports of the Taliban’s imminent demise are grossly exaggerated CIA has launched clandestine operations to rescue Americans in Afghanistan: MORE “Commit the CIA not to join TikTok or any other social media platform that poses a serious threat to US national security, as well as to American user data and privacy.”

The letter from Rubio, vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, comes a day after a spokesman for the CIA said Politico that joining TikTok was an option as the agency wants to bolster its social media presence and help with recruiting. However, the spokesman acknowledged the risk that China posed.

“With TikTok there is of course the Chinese risk,” said the spokesman.

The spokesman later made it clear to Politico that the agency had no plans to join the platform.

When asked about Rubio’s letter, a CIA spokesman told The Hill, “The CIA has no plans to join TikTok.”

TikTok has come under fire from lawmakers for its ties to the Chinese government. It was reported earlier in August that the Chinese Communist Party had a stake and a seat on the board TikTok parent company ByteDance in April.

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpDoes Pence really call his wife “mother”? Aide Says It’s “A Myth That Is Driving Me Crazy” Boxing Legend De La Hoya Out Of Hospital After Being Treated For COVID-19 Elder Warns Of “Gimmicks” In California Recalls Voting MORE lagged TikTok because of its ties to the Chinese government and filed an executive order banning the app in 2020. President BidenJoe Biden Biden Government Prepares Abortion Law Lawsuit in Texas: Report Police Expect Capitol Fences To Be Reinstalled For September 18 Rally Elder Warns Of “Gimmicks” In California June cancel the order.

In his letter, Rubio told Burns that it was the CIA’s duty to “protect our nation and safeguard American interests.” He added that members of the Chinese Communist Party had more than 130 committee members in senior positions in ByteDance’s Beijing offices.

Rubio said the agency “should warn of, and not normalize, the risks associated with TikTok and other foreign apps developed in authoritarian surveillance states.”

“So I ask you to expressly decline the reported comments from the CIA’s social media team and to confirm that the agency will not join TikTok or any other high-risk foreign app,” he wrote.

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