The US government is stepping up its pressure campaign against TikTok

The US government is stepping up its pressure campaign against TikTok

The US government is stepping up its pressure campaign against TikTok

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

The Biden administration is stepping up its pressure campaign against TikTok, threatening to ban the world’s most popular app from the United States if the company does not spin off its Chinese ownership.


Public concern from the current administration over the hit app has increased dramatically in recent days. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the US government is again seeking to separate the app from its Chinese owners, demanding the sale through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

TikTok pushed back against the White House’s new request, arguing that the proposed solution would not address the US government’s concerns. TikTok says the company’s unusual move to self-regulation – subject to audit by US tech giant Oracle, among other measures – would offer more resolution.

“If protecting national security is the goal, divestment does not solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access,” said spokesperson Maureen Shanahan. from TikTok, to TechCrunch. “The best way to address national security concerns is to provide transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, auditing, and auditing, which we are already implementing.”

This program, known as Project Texas, is part of an ongoing TikTok charm offensive in the United States that seeks to portray the company’s US operations as transparent and accountable. The campaign comes with about $1.5 billion in infrastructure and corporate reorganization spending to erect a firewall between the company’s US operations and its Chinese ownership.

In an interview with the Journal, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew argued that Project Texas would place US data beyond the reach of the Chinese government. He declined to answer whether the founders of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, would be open to divestment.

“I appreciate the comments about the other risks that we’re talking about that aren’t addressed by this,” Chew said in the interview. “So far, I haven’t heard anything that can’t actually be solved by this.”

The TikTok national security saga began under the Trump administration. Trump’s White House threats against the company ultimately culminated in a plan to force TikTok to sell its US operations to Oracle in late 2020. At the time, TikTok also rejected an acquisition offer from Microsoft, but no didn’t ultimately sell to Oracle either.

The deal was put on hold indefinitely when the Biden took office the following year, following shifting White House priorities and a series of successful legal challenges by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Last year, TikTok’s odd relationship with Oracle turned a new page, with the company transferring US-based user data to Oracle’s national servers. Around the same time, a bombshell story from BuzzFeed documented internal TikTok discussions in which Chinese employees admitted to having open access to US user data — reports that went against the company’s assurances. .

Since then, the Biden administration has voiced its own concerns about the hit Chinese app, which has taken the world by storm and dislodged US-based social media holders.

On Thursday, Emily Baker-White, who has published a number of insightful articles on TikTok and national security issues, reported that the FBI and Justice Department are both investigating the company, fearing it may monitors American journalists. The UK also announced a ban on TikTok for government devices on Thursday – a move the US government had previously implemented. In recent months, some US-based colleges have also followed suit, complying with guidelines issued by state-level executive orders restricting application.

During a recent Senate intelligence hearing, FBI Director Chris Wray voiced his agency’s concerns about the enforcement and its ties to an authoritarian state with an increasingly divisive relationship with the United States. United. Wray confirmed her belief that the Chinese government could force TikTok’s US operation to hand her over. software control, affecting several million Americans. If that happened, Wray argued there might not be “outward signs” that the app had been compromised.

“Something very sacred in our country – the difference between the private sector and the public sector – is a line that does not exist in the way the CCP operates,” Wray said.

The timing of the Biden administration’s new efforts to sound the alarm about TikTok is likely not random. Next week, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the first time the chief executive has appeared before Congress. The hearing, scheduled for March 23, will explore TikTok’s “consumer privacy and data security practices, the platform’s impact on children and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party”, according to the committee. now led by Republicans.

“Americans deserve to know how these actions affect their privacy and data security, as well as the steps TikTok is taking to protect our children from harm online and offline,” said committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. .


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button