There is ample evidence that the popular app TikTok permits Red China to spy on Americans; that’s why the U.S. House, N.J. state government, and even some universities including Texas A&M are now banning the application on their devices. Yet the threat of espionage posed by America’s primary geopolitical foe hasn’t discouraged millions of users from continuing to post inane dance move videos, rants of parenting, and other objectively brain cell-destroying content on a daily basis.
Among those digging in? Cory Booker.
“One enthusiastic TikTok user is U.S. Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Booker has a huge TikTok following of more than 329,000 accounts and has racked up 2.8 million likes.
However, he does not have the application installed on any government devices and his team regularly consults with security experts to ‘update and implement the necessary precautions to ensure continued account and information security,’ Maya Krishna-Rogers, a spokesperson for Booker, said in an email to States Newsroom.”
One of Booker’s Democrat colleagues – Virginia’s Mark Warner – recently explained why he believes TikTok is a legitimate national security threat (h/t ABC-7):
Warner said TikTok has a tool that scans a TikTok user’s eyes to show what their eyes would look like as a different color.
“And it seems kind of cool and fun. Well, by taking that picture of your eye, that is a biometric marker that can be used, and I think will be used more and more as a personal identification tool,” said Warner. “Do you really want your personal identification tool which is the iris of your eye potentially in the hands of the communist party of China? That ought to scare the dickens out of folks.”
And that’s not all.
“What I almost find is a bigger problem is that TikTok is also a communications network, and the Communist Party in China can dial the algorithms, they can dictate to TikTok, the parent company ByteDance, we’ll show this kind of content or that kind of content. And the proof of that is the TikToks that Chinese kids see which advances science and engineering versus the TikTok that our kids see is dramatically different.”
You might think a member of the Foreign Relations Committee (!) would take all of this a little more seriously?
But then again, in asking the question, you’re admitting to not knowing Cory Booker very well. He’d sell his mother’s medication to Beijing if it bought him a few thousands more social media followers.