TikTok’s Broad Influence Poses Warning, Says NSA Chief

Photo: AP (Fair Use)

During his testimony before a Senate panel, General Paul Nakasone, the Director of the NSA, expressed concerns regarding the data and algorithms held by the social media platform TikTok.

General Nakasone expressed his worry to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the extensive influence that the Chinese-owned video app TikTok has on its users, and the potential for the platform to manipulate or promote certain content, The Hill reported.

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) posed a question to General Nakasone during the hearing, asking for his level of concern regarding the impact of the social media platform on American children. The NSA Director provided a response in kind.

“TikTok concerns me for a number of different reasons. One is the data that they have. Secondly, is the algorithm and who controls the algorithm. Third is the broad platform influence operations, as we talked about previously. It’s not only a fact that you can influence something, but you can also you know, turn off the message as well when you have such a large population of listeners,” Nakasone said.

General Nakasone’s statements were made on the same day that Democratic senators introduced a bill aimed at granting the federal government increased authority to regulate or prohibit technology linked to a foreign adversary.

Sponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the proposed legislation is referred to as the RESTRICT Act.

Last week, the White House issued an order mandating that all federal agencies remove TikTok from their devices within 30 days, a move that is consistent with the current development.

Written by staff