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China could 'weaponize' TikTok, so another Senator calls for ban

TikTok on a smartphone

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet has asked Apple and Google to immediately ban TikTok from the App Store over national security concerns.

Bennet, a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote to Apple and Google on Thursday, according to the New York Times.

His letter says that no firm that is subject to "Chinese Communist Party dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population."

Speaking to the New York Times, he added that he believes "It's irresponsible for us to make it available the way we have, and I hope that Apple and Google will take this as an opportunity to lead in this debate."

The complete text of the letter is not yet available, and Senator Bennet's own social media and websites make no mention of it at time of writing.

However, excerpts have been seen by sources including Colorado Public Radio. Its report quotes Bennet as writing that the Chinese Communist Party could weaponize TikTok against the United States."

Forbes magazine reports that Bennet has been asked why he has written to Apple and Google rather than support Senate and House colleagues already seeking to ban TikTok.

"Congress' responsibility is to present a long term solution for oversight of big tech — like Sen. Bennet's Digital Platform Commission Act — so that we aren't addressing this in an ad hoc way," a spokesperson for Senator Bennet responded. "Until that happens, Google and Apple should remove TikTok from the App Stores."

In December 2022, the House of Representatives banned staff use of TikTok, and ordered that the app be uninstalled from iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

Separately, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr has said that he believes a ban on TikTok in the United States is inevitable, although the FCC itself has no authority to regulate the social media service.