A potential agreement between TikTok and the Biden administration faces more delays as national security worries grow, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The agreement had been anticipated by the end of December, but now is expected to be pushed back because of many concerns. The newspaper said those concerns included the trust the administration would need to place in the company, and how TikTok might share information regarding the algorithm it uses to determine what videos to show users.
WSJ attributed its information to people familiar with the situation.
TikTok is owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd. WSJ, citing disclosure reports, noted the company has spent about $9 million lobbying in Washington during the past two years.
The company and the U.S., had reached a tentative agreement during the summer. However, some people in the administration and Congress now are pushing for a tougher deal due to security concerns over TikTok.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., have vowed to introduce legislation to ban the use of TikTok in the U.S.
And Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., has talked about banning the app within the U.S. government.
"The [House] Democrats control too much right now," Van Drew told Newsmax on Friday's "John Bachman Now". Legislation already went through the Senate, but [outgoing Speaker] Nancy Pelosi blocked it in the House.
Last week, South Dakota became the first U.S.. state to ban TikTok on all state-issued networks, phones, laptop, tablets and desktop computers.
Van Drew would like to see the federal government invoke a similarly strong stance against TikTok.
Then-President Donald Trump had sought to ban TikTok unless it was owned by a U.S. company, according to WSJ. But President Joe Biden rescinded those orders, saying they were unenforceable because of a successful court challenge.
Chinese companies linked to the country's intelligence bureaucracy "shouldn’t be trusted to securely handle our sensitive personal data and communications," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.
And FBI Director Christopher Wray said: "We, the FBI, do have national-security concerns about the app."
He maintained TikTok could also be used to access other software on users’ devices and compromise them.
Wray said the FBI was concerned that the Chinese had the ability to control the app’s recommendation algorithm,"which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations," The Associated Press reported. He also warned China could use the app to collect data on its users that could be used for traditional espionage operations.
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