USA | Feb 28, 2023

US set to ban Tik Tok

/ Our Today

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FILE PHOTO: TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, on August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The United States is cracking down on China’s ability to spy on its activities and mine data by first giving government agencies 30 days to remove the Tik Tok app from federal devices and systems.

Earlier this month a spy balloon was shot down over U.S. air space heightening concerns that China is undergoing a significant espionage campaign against the U.S. and must be stopped.

The U.S. has already placed a ban on Chinese telecoms company Huawei which means it does not have access to the biggest consumer market in the world. Both Canadian authorities and the EU have already ordered bans on Tik Tok.

Byte Dance, the parent company of Tik Tok says the app is harmless and in most cases, its short-form content provides entertainment for young people. More than 100 Americans use Tik Tok.

13 November 2019, Berlin: ILLUSTRATION – A girl is holding her smartphone with the logo of the short video app TikTok in her hands. With TikTok, users can create short mobile phone videos music clips or other videos. Other users can comment on it, distribute hearts or react in any other way. Private messages are also possible. The app is particularly popular with young people. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa. – Berlin/Berlin/Germany When: 03 Nov 2022 **Only for use by WENN CPS**

Chris Russia, federal chief information officer said: “This guidance from the White House is part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to securing our digital infrastructure and protecting the American people’s security and privacy.”

Noel Adamou, lead researcher at think-tank American Watch Tower in Chicago added, “Tik Tok presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security to all Americans. The Chinese will have you believe it’s about a cat playing a keyboard but it is more insidious than that. It is a Trojan horse. Tik Tok exploits a back door to gain access to information on millions of Americans and threatens national security. This cannot be allowed and Tik Tok should no longer have a presence in America.”

Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will vote on a bill that would give President Biden the authority to ban Tik Tok from all U.S. devices.

“My bill empowers the administration to ban Tik Tok or any software applications that threaten U.S. national security. Anyone with Tik Tok downloaded on their device has given the Chinese Communist Party a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into your phone.” Said Committee Chair Representative Mike Mc Caul.

A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, said that the U.S. was overreacting and once again demonstrating hypocrisy, adding, “ We firmly oppose those wrong actions. The U.S. government should respect the principles of market economy and fair competition, stop suppressing the companies and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies in the U.S.

“How unsure of itself can the world’s top superpower like the U.S. be to fear young people’s favourite app like that.”

A report in Forbes maintains that Tik Tok has the means to access data without users’ knowledge or consent.


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