Block TikTok?: TheU.S. Response to Chinese Apps


TikTok is the latest Chinese app to take off in the United States. However, there are concerns that China’s government could be using the app to surveil Americans. Critics argue that the specter of this surveillance is enough to boycott or even impose an outright ban on the app. Others suggest that the app does not pose such a grave risk and that policymakers should allow the marketplace to balance the potential risks and tradeoffs. Should the government regulate the app market? Can any apps from China be trusted?

Thanks for joining Lincoln Network and the National Security Institute for an exploration of these questions and more as we discuss America’s response to TikTok.

Panelists included:

Ashkhen Kazaryan, Director of Civil Liberties, TechFreedom;

Klon Kitchen, Director of Center for Technology Policy, Heritage Foundation & NSI Visiting Fellow;

Milton Mueller, Founder, Internet Governance Project;

and Marshall Kosloff, Director of Outreach and Media, Lincoln Network (moderator)



Ashkhen Kazaryan currently serves as the Director of civil liberties at TechFreedom where she manages and develops policy projects on free speech, content moderation, surveillance reform, and the intersection of constitutional rights and technology.  She also manages outreach and coalition building for the organization and hosts The Tech Policy Podcast. Ashkhen is regularly featured as an expert commentator in news outlets across television, radio, podcasts, and print and digital publications including: CNBC, BBC, FOX DC, Politico, Axios, The Washington Examiner and others.  Ashkhen is a board member of the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee, an Internet Law and Policy Fellow at the IP Foundry, and an expert at the Federalist Society’s Emerging Technology Working Group. She received her Specialist in Law degree summa cum laude from Lomonosov MSU in 2012, Master of Law Degree from Yale Law School in 2016, and is completing her PhD in Law at the Law School of Lomonosov Moscow State University (thesis on Legal Regulation of Art Markets).

Klon Kitchen is an NSI Visiting Fellow and leads tech policy at the Heritage Foundation.  As Heritage’s first Senior Fellow for Technology, National Security, and Science Policy, Klon steers an enterprise-wide, interdisciplinary effort to understand and to shape the Nation’s most important technology issues. This is the first effort of its kind at Heritage and it is another example of how the organization is providing innovative ideas and solutions—guided by conservative constitutional principles.  Klon’s personal research focuses on the intersection of technology and national security, with particular interest in artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons systems, Space, and intelligence issues. He is also a frequent commentator on privacy issues, social media, and the tech industry in general.  Prior to joining Heritage, Klon was National Security Advisor to Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska and also the Staff Director of the National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Milton Mueller is an internationally prominent scholar specializing in the political economy of information and communication. The author of seven books and scores of journal articles, his work informs not only public policy but also science and technology studies, law, economics, communications, and international studies.  Dr. Mueller’s prominence in scholarship is matched by his prominence in policy practice. He is the co-founder and director of the Internet Governance Project (IGP), a policy analysis center for global Internet governance. Since its founding in 2004, IGP has played a prominent role in shaping global Internet policies and institutions such as ICANN and the Internet Governance Forum.  He was elected to the Advisory Committee of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) from 2013-2016, and appointed in 2014 to the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group. Dr. Mueller has also been a practical institution-builder in the scholarly world, where he led the creation of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), an international association of scholars.

Marshall Kosloff is the Director of Outreach and Media for the Lincoln Network. He is also a Media Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he co-hosts The Realignment podcast. Before Lincoln, he was a researcher on PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover and participated in the Public Interest Fellowship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oregon. Marshall lives in Washington, DC.