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Pfluger Leads Classified TikTok Member Briefing With DHS, DOJ, ODNI

February 16, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX), held a classified member-only briefing with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on security concerns posed by TikTok, an app owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, Ltd. The firm is headquartered in Beijing and has ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This briefing was requested by Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Subcommittee Chairman Pfluger last month as part of the Committee’s oversight of potential nefarious activities by the CCP. 
Following the briefing, Chairman Pfluger said, “Today’s briefing is an important step in examining the strategy of these departments in confronting such an urgent security threat, but we are not done with our oversight efforts. This briefing comes as the President has proudly joined TikTok, even after signing into law a bill to ban its use on federal government devices. This contradiction is of grave concern for the Committee, as the commander-in-chief should not be using an app owned by a Beijing company with deep CCP ties––especially as it could easily take advantage of backdoors in the app’s source code to spy on users. 

“As we all know, the People’s Republic of China is the greatest geopolitical adversary facing our nation today, so it is deeply troubling that TikTok maintains 150 million users in the United States. There is no question that this app is a national and personal data security threat, and its glorification of terrorists, silencing of dissent, and promotion of anti-American propaganda is a transparent effort by an authoritarian regime to corrupt the minds of Americans. 
“I appreciate these departments taking the time to brief the Committee and look forward to working closely with them to ensure this very real threat is prioritized. DHS, DOJ, and ODNI have an immense responsibility to address the CCP’s malign influence and espionage efforts on U.S. soil, and they must continue to share with the Committee the actions they are taking to combat this threat to our homeland security.”