House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D – Mississippi) is now on TikTok. But that is despite warnings from the FCC about the app and proposed legislation currently being considered in Thompson’s own Homeland Security Committee that would prevent DHS employees from using the app on department issued devices.
Despite the risks identified by multiple agencies in the top levels of the US Government, Thompson began his TikTok journey on July 1 by announcing it from his Twitter account. And he was immediately verified by TikTok. There have been no postings as of yet by Thompson to the account.
In February of 2022, Mississippi Third District Congressman Michael Guest actually introduced the bill called the No TikTok on Department of Homeland Security Devices Act, which went to Thompson’s Homeland Security committee. The text of that bill states that if the bill became law DHS employees would have to have TikTok removed from any DHS issue device in 60 days.
In April, a report from the Financial Times detailed that Tik Tok was being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security for not doing enough to battle abusive and sexually related content targeting minors.
Follow my new account on TikTok. (benniegthompson)
— Bennie G. Thompson (@BennieGThompson) July 1, 2022
The New York Times reported that a bipartisan effort from the Senate Intelligence Committee was pressing the Federal Trade Commission to investigate national security concerns that arose from TikTok being owned by a Chinese company. They were in concerned about data being available directly to the Chinese government.
The Federal Communications Commission Chairman is also expressing grave concern about the security of the app.
TikTok is not just another video app.
That’s the sheep’s clothing.
It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.
I’ve called on @Apple & @Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices. pic.twitter.com/Le01fBpNjn
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) June 28, 2022
The Trump administration in late 2020 tried to unsuccessfully ban TikTok from US app stores over pervasive concerns that the Chinese owned company would use customer data improperly and provide direct surveillance to the Chinese government.
Though the company was never banned, Senator Roger Wicker at the time in late 2000 again expressed serious concern about the TikTok platform and how it was held.