Outgoing Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., also senator-elect for the state, told Newsmax on Tuesday that the social media app TikTok is "a tracking device" the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has put on Americans' electronic devices.
"I sit on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and we have been raising the red flag about the dangers of TikTok," Mullin said during an appearance on Newsmax's "National Report." "And a lot of people look at this and go, 'Why is TikTok dangerous? It's a social media site.' It's because they start learning your behaviors.
"There's two things that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to get done. We're a very diverse, ethnic group inside the United States and so we have vast different interests. So, with the young people, they're trying to figure out what is the common thread, and what is it they can do to distract, because once they can find a common thread and distract you, that's where propaganda comes in."
Mullin said the CCP's second objective with TikTok is capturing passcodes and breaching secure areas on government and university devices.
"And so TikTok is truly not just a social media site," he said. "It is a tracking device that the CCP has put on our devices, and we've sucked it in."
When asked if there are innovative ways to make TikTok safer for users, especially students who might not understand why the platform poses a security risk, Mullin said, "Yes and no."
"We have an open Internet process, and what I mean by that is that we have an Internet process where you can enter it from multiple areas," he said. "And so when you have WiFi, for instance, you have WiFi that says unsecure, no one even pays attention to that — everybody just jumps onto unsecure websites.
"And when you look at China, China has a closed system where they can choose who can get on and get off. They track everything that goes in. It's like an exit ramp and an on ramp. And so we could be innovative, but there's still not a way to make it secure because the government doesn't control the web."
Mullin said the federal government should not have the power to control the internet "because we're a free country."
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