‘Now Blow Up TikTok’ – After Balloon, Gaetz & Republicans Want All Chinese Spying Ended

Now that Joe Biden has finally gotten around to blowing up the Chinese spy balloon, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz is suggesting something else the president could blow up: TikTok.

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If Americans thought the shootdown would end Chinese spying, they might not be aware of the digital “spy balloons” floating inside 70 million of their smartphones. TikTok has become the centerpiece of the Chinese government’s spying and data-collection efforts. Controlled by parent company ByteDance in Beijing, it is widely believed to conduct surveillance of its users on behalf of the Chinese government. More Americans use TikTok than any other nationality.

National security agencies have raised alarm bells in recent years about the growing threat TikTok poses. Attempts to ban the app have come from both sides of the aisle, with the DNC and RNC recommending their employees delete it from their phones.

In 2020, Donald Trump attempted to ban the app through executive order but was stalled by legal challenges in federal court. The lawsuit was later dismissed when Joe Biden became president and rescinded the executive order. The White House has since made no attempt to curtail Chinese spying through the app. TikTok’s audience continues to grow every year.

The effort to ban TikTok has gained momentum in recent months. In December, Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bipartisan bill that would implement a federal ban on the social media app.

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said after unveiling the legislation.

“This isn’t about creative videos, this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”

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With a Chinese surveillance craft now being allowed to spy on Americans from Montana to South Carolina, calls for a federal ban are getting louder.

“The CCP continues to expand its surveillance operations beyond its borders. First, it was TikTok and Huawei. Now, it’s floating balloons to spy on Americans in full view,” Congressman Mike Flood tweeted.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton told Fox News Sunday,

“I got to tell your viewers, if they’re worried about a spy balloon flying across middle of America, let me tell them about the TikTok app that they may have on their phone and what it means for their security and their privacy and that of their children.”

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley told The Hill,

“The big problem with TikTok is that it is a backdoor for the Chinese Communist Party into the personal data and the personal lives of every American who uses it, that includes especially our kids.”

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After more than a week of hesitation by the Biden administration, the Chinese spy balloon was shot down Saturday afternoon. China’s foreign ministry called the shootdown a “complete overreaction.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has since canceled a planned diplomatic visit to China.

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