Biden’s Jump To TikTok Could Lead To An Expanded Federal Ban On China-Tied App | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daniel Chaitin.

    President Joe Biden's decision to have his 2024 reelection campaign join TikTok on Super Bowl Sunday has prompted a legislative push to broaden a federal ban on the popular China-owned app that officials in Biden's own administration have warned is a national security threat.

    Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) told The Daily Wire on Thursday he is working on introducing a bill "just as soon as we possibly can" that aims to prohibit all federal employees with a security clearance from having TikTok on even their personal devices, and stipulate that no individual running for federal elected office can fundraise on the platform.

    Biden already signed a federal ban on downloading TikTok onto any government phones, but Pfluger doesn't think that's enough. Warnings about the risk of Beijing collecting data from more than 100 million TikTok users in the United States from FBI Director Christopher Wray and other U.S. officials in Biden's orbit as well as the potential for foreign influence campaigns have led to Pfluger a situation Pfluger says is "scary for our national security."

    Pfluger said he wants to "make sure that government employees with security clearances aren't being blackmailed or aren't subjected to things that we don't even know about," such as "manipulated messages" or spying.

    "If you have a security clearance, you need to stay off TikTok," Pfluger said. "And number 2, no person running in a federal election should be using TikTok as a fundraising mechanism."

    In late 2022, Biden signed off on a TikTok ban on government-issued devices of nearly 4 million federal employees as part of a massive spending bill. The bill included some exceptions for law enforcement, national security, and security research - as outlined in a February 2023 guidance from the White House. Biden also reportedly threatened a complete U.S. ban if TikTok's Chinese owners did not divest but as of Monday, the White House was deferring to a longstanding Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review.

    Even as TikTok and Beijing have tried to push back on concerns about a nefarious Communist Chinese Party campaign to infiltrate the devices of American users, the Biden campaign's sudden appearance became cause for alarm in Congress. Biden campaign advisers insisted to Axios that they are "incorporating a sophisticated security protocol to ensure security," but there remains skepticism about the move.

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    Biden's campaign joining TikTok is "very hypocritical" and "sends a terrible message that he doesn't care about our national security; he cares about political expediency," Pfluger said, adding that it appears Biden is being "very desperate to reach out to young voters."

    Pfluger acknowledged the legal challenges that former President Donald Trump faced when trying to ban TikTok by executive order and observed how "we're kind of in uncharted territory right now."

    A Senate bill from a bipartisan group of senators that could give the president more authority to ban TikTok and other foreign technology platforms has gone nowhere despite Biden's endorsement. Pfluger predicted his legislation will also get bipartisan support because people are "waking up" to the risks and hopes it will make headway toward passage.

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