FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Says TikTok Legal Filing 'Gives Away the Game'

May 8th, 2024 5:27 PM

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr roasted TikTok’s “arrogance” as it attempts to escape severing its ties with the communist Chinese government.

Last month, President Joe Biden signed a bill that would force TikTok’s Chinese-controlled parent company, ByteDance to divest itself from TikTok, or risk being banned from the U.S. market entirely. On Tuesday, TikTok responded to the bill with a legal challenge, claiming that divestiture is “impossible” and “infeasible.” But Carr is not buying it. “While TikTok trots out the expected grab bag of arguments, it adopts a strange strategy of ignoring the reason for the law,” Carr stated in an X post. “TikTok wants this to be a case about the content of its speech. It is not. It is about TikTok's malign conduct - conduct the Constitution doesn't protect.”

Carr further addressed some of TikTok’s ludicrous claims in a follow-up post in which he said that “TikTok's legal filing gives away the game in several ways” and noted the platform’s continued hypocrisy as it is once again caught red-handed.

“Despite claiming independence from Beijing, TikTok now concedes that it is the CCP (not TikTok) that controls the fate of its algorithm and foreign commercial transactions,” Carr noted. 

Indeed, in its legal filing, TikTok admitted as much when it claimed that China’s regulation of exported technologies would prevent divestiture. “[T]he Chinese government has made clear that it would not permit a divestment of the recommendation engine that is key to the success of TikTok in The United States,” the platform wrote in its legal complaint launched against Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Carr similarly drew attention to TikTok’s claim that it would be “impossible” to transfer its source code to a new owner. “Despite claiming for years that TikTok's national security threat could be addressed by having U.S.-based engineers inspect its millions of lines of code, TikTok now says that outside engineers would be unable to understand the complex code,” Carr wrote.

In a third post, the FCC commissioner summed up the communist Chinese government-controlled platform’s flagrant and consistent pattern of claiming one thing and doing another as “arrogance.”

“Arrogance is saying that U.S. user data doesn't even exist in China while TikTok's internal communications show ‘everything is seen in China,’” Carr declared. “Arrogance is claiming that TikTok U.S. is independent while former employees have made clear that Beijing-based personnel are calling the shots,” he later added.

Carr went on ultimately concluding: “Arrogance is believing that TikTok could present a clear and present danger to U.S. national security and America would simply allow that threat to persist. Our Constitution compels no such result.”

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