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Good Teaching Requires the Right Ingredients

Wildly Irresponsible Congressional Dems Still on TikTok as of 2023

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AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File

The start of this new legislative session was delayed due to the anti-establishment movement that sought to obstruct what would have been a straightforward election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker.


When the session was initiated, various reports indicated that several new bills had been presented as a compromise to conservative hardliners who opposed the House Speaker. Despite having little likelihood of being approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, these bills demonstrate the influence of that part of the "resistance GOP" on traditional or "establishment" Republicans.

Although it's nice to imagine, it is highly unlikely that President Biden will receive any legislation on his desk related to these GOP "Hail Marys," such as the measures designed to countermand the Inflation Reduction Act or Senator Josh Hawley's (R-MO) PELOSI Act, since both require bipartisan support from a Democrat-controlled Senate.

But one area where legislators from both parties and both chambers of Congress could certainly come together is cybersecurity. Cyber-defenses in America are currently inadequate, and this issue must be addressed if America is to remain safe and secure.

In 2022, the cyber threat landscape saw a spike in ransomware and other cyber attacks, with many of them believed to be state-sponsored. The flurry of attacks that have accompanied the Ukraine War are perhaps the most prominent examples of these incidents, demonstrating just how far-reaching and damaging these threats can be.

In the early weeks of 2023, ransomware attacks have been a serious threat to both the hospital and financial services industries. Despite a 61% decrease in overall ransomware attacks on businesses in 2022, Americans are being targeted with more sophisticated malware variants every week, putting national security at risk. This puts the onus on Congress to act urgently to protect America's cybersecurity and ensure that these malicious attacks do not continue unchecked.


Although headline grabbing attacks that target large organizations are what people think of when the data security is discussed, it's actually individuals that are increasingly prone to being targeted by malicious Ransomware groups and the continual emergence of new adware.

But despite the fact that members of congress are briefed on the threats posed by hackers and foreign powers looking to obtain sensitive information, an investigation conducted by States Newsroom recently revealed that 32 members of Congress - 31 Democrats and 1 independent - were using TikTok as of early January.

Given the potential security risks posed by TikTok, it is a cause for concern that members of Congress are allowing its use on their personal devices. In China, the app's parent company ByteDance and other tech firms are required to comply with laws granting the government access to any data they hold. This can potentially put American security at risk as legislators become susceptible to interference from abroad.

As of early January 2021, roughly half of Congress members who had TikTok accounts were either serving or have served on congressional committees dealing with foreign affairs, military and national security issues.

Notable congressional TikTokers include Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Especially in the case of Senator Booker, his placement on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee grants him access to confidential information.


The extensive data collected by TikTok, such as location information, contacts, and browsing history, could be used to track US officials and put them at risk of being targeted in extortion plots from foreign entities. This could pose a major security risk for members of Congress and even jeopardize the national security of the United States.

Voters must not overlook the fact that irresponsible behavior and potential risk to American cybersecurity are primarily concentrated among Democrats and just one Independent, and they should be held accountable for their actions at the ballot box. Taking these matters seriously is essential in order to guarantee our nation's safety and security, as well as sending a clear message that such brazen irresponsibility by members of Congress will not be tolerated.

Additionally, these revelations regarding the use of TikTok now come to light just as the Special Counsel Investigation into President Biden's handling of classified documents is gaining momentum. These continual missteps by Dems are only providing Republican politicians with more fodder for their campaigns in the upcoming 2024 election cycle. 

The so-called "adults in the room" have been increasingly compromising our nation's security. From Hillary Clinton's use of an unsecured private server to Joe Biden's sale of strategic oil reserves and his ongoing classified documents scandal and now this TikTok debacle, it appears that America has never been more vulnerable than at present.


Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by many of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world.



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