Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr says he has “little confidence there’s a path forward” when it comes to trying to make a national security agreement with the social media app TikTok.
Carr said, “Perhaps the deal CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] ends up cutting is an amazing, airtight deal, but at this point I have a very, very difficult time looking at TikTok’s conduct thinking we’re going to cut a technical construct that they’re not going to find a way around,” he told CNN.
The harsh words come after multiple recent reports on how TikTok handles U.S. users' data. A national security agreement with the app would be part of allowing it to continue operating in the United States.
CFIUS has spent months working to negotiate an agreement to review business deals involving foreign ownership to work with TikTok on a deal to fix U.S. government concerns.
The U.S. is concerned that China could try to gain access to the data that the social platform has on U.S. citizens.
This year the company migrated its U.S. user data to Oracle servers, but there are concerns that China-based employees of TikTok, or ByteDance (its parent company), could still access that information.
A TikTok spokesperson said, “Commissioner Carr has no role in or direct knowledge of the confidential discussions with the US government related to TikTok and is not in a position to discuss what those negotiations entail.”
“We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the US government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns,” the spokesperson said.
Carr spoke to CNN while in Taiwan, which was the first-ever visit to the island by an FCC official.
He said he hasn't met with CFIUS member agencies or the White House to raise the issue.