Interview: FCC commissioner says government should ban TikTok – Axios

FCC commissioner Brendan Carr testifies during a House hearing on March 31. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
The Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) should take action to ban TikTok, Brendan Carr, one of five commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios in an interview.
Why it matters: It's the strongest language Carr has used to date to urge action on TikTok. With more than 200 million downloads in the U.S. alone, the popular app is becoming a form of critical information infrastructure — making the app's ownership by a Chinese parent company a target of growing national security concern.
State of play: TikTok is currently in negotiations with CFIUS, an interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of foreign companies' deals, to determine whether it can be divested by Chinese parent company ByteDance to an American company and remain operational in the United States.
What he's saying: "I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban," Carr said, citing recent revelations about how TikTok and ByteDance handle U.S. user data.
What TikTok is saying: "Commissioner Carr has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner," a TikTok spokesperson told Axios in a statement.
What's happening: A series of recent reports have challenged TikTok's claims that U.S. user data is secure because it is stored outside of China and that the company does not comply with Chinese government content moderation requirements.
Flashback: The Trump administration unsuccessfully attempted to ban the app in 2020, then it ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok to a U.S. company. No sale went through.
What to watch: A growing number of U.S. political candidates are using TikTok to reach voters as the midterms draw near, raising the stakes on the app's fate.


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