Blackburn & Blumenthal Urge Declassification Of TikTok & ByteDance Information Over National Security Concerns

March 22, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to declassify information regarding TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance amid national security concerns.

“American intelligence and law enforcement officials on a bipartisan basis have repeatedly raised alarms that the Chinese government can use its direct and absolute control over ByteDance to exert malign influence over what users see on TikTok and spy on their private information,” wrote Blackburn and Blumenthal to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

“We are deeply troubled by the information and concerns raised by the intelligence community in recent classified briefings to Congress. TikTok is a weapon in the hands of the Chinese government, and poses an active risk to our democratic institutions and national security,” the senators continued. “As Congress and the Administration consider steps to address TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government, it is critically important that the American people, especially TikTok users, understand the national security issues at stake. We therefore urge you to declassify information about TikTok and ByteDance, and their ties to Chinese governments’ influence and espionage activities, to better educate the public on the need for urgent action.”

Blackburn and Blumenthal have previously raised U.S. national security and consumer privacy concerns regarding TikTok. In June 2023, they sent a letter to TikTok, demanding answers on reports the company allowed private data about American users to be stored and accessed in China. In October 2023, Blackburn and Blumenthal sent a letter to TikTok, demanding answers about the company’s decision to hire several high-level executives from ByteDance.

Click here to view the full letter.