Two senators who have received classified TikTok national security briefings say that the information revealed to them has left them “deeply troubled.”

They are calling for the information to be declassified, as they say it is “critically important” that the American people can consider the issues for themselves – especially if they currently use the Chinese-owned app …

TikTok national security briefings

Earlier this month, Congress voted overwhelmingly to either ban TikTok from the US, or to force the sale of the app to an American-owned company. President Biden has said that he will sign the order if it passes the Senate and reaches his desk.

Senators have so far seemed less convinced of the need for the legislation, so the Department of Justice has been pushing the sale option rather than the ban, and the intelligence community has been briefing senators on what it says are national security risks.

Now two of those senators say the things they were told ought to be public knowledge. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote an open letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to declassify the briefings they received.

We are deeply troubled by the information and concerns raised by the intelligence community in recent classified briefings to Congress. TikTok is a weapon in the hands of the Chinese government, and poses an active risk to our democratic institutions and national security.

Meanwhile, TikTok and ByteDance have themselves provided powerful confirmation of these fears through their concerted efforts to undermine legislation that would sever ties between the app and China – using its control over the app to amplify misinformation about legislation.

As Congress and the Administration consider steps to address TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government, it is critically important that the American people, especially TikTok users, understand the national security issues at stake. We therefore urge you to declassify information about TikTok and ByteDance, and their ties to Chinese governments’ influence and espionage activities, to better educate the public on the need for urgent action.

The two of them previously wrote to TikTok owner Bytedance asking whether or not it was true that the company allowed the personal data of US users to be stored in China – something the company had previously denied. No reply was received.

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