© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Colorado congressmen cross the aisle to spearhead TikTok ban

A hand signal popularized on TikTok led authorities to rescue an underage girl.
Kiichiro Sato
Twenty-seven state governments have passed full or partial bans on TikTok, citing concerns that the Chinese government could access information collected through the app. Colorado does not yet have any sort of ban on TikTok.

Two high-profile Colorado congressmen are leading a takedown of TikTok. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Rep. Ken Buck both say the popular app is a threat to national security.

TikTok has hundreds of millions of users globally and is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. There's been concern that the Chinese government could force the company to turn over information and data collected through the app.

"As long as it's owned by (the) Communist Chinese Party, we will not tolerate them gathering intelligence on our young people to use in a future cyberwar," Rep. Buck said on NBC's Meet the Press.

Buck wants a full ban on TikTok in the U.S. He sponsored a law to ban the app on government-owned devices last year. Twenty-seven state governments have also passed full or partial bans on the social media platform. Colorado is not among them.

Sen. Michael Bennet is also worried about TikTok's vast data pool, which includes faceprints and voiceprints. He's concerned about orders the Chinese government has carried out compelling the app's parent company to assist with state intelligence work.

“Beijing’s requirement raises the obvious risk that the Chinese Communist Party could weaponize TikTok against the United States. Specifically, by forcing ByteDance to surrender Americans’ sensitive data or manipulate the content Americans receive to advance China’s interests," Bennet said in a letter to Apple and Google.

Bennet has asked both companies to remove TikTok from their app stores.

Even with two of the state's political heavyweights bearing down hard on the app, Colorado's Gov. Jared Polis isn't making any moves at the state level. The governor's office maintains state officials' use of TikTok is guided by best practices and only used for legitimate purposes.

As the Newscast Editor and Producer, I provide listeners with news and information critical to our region.