FCC commissioner calls on Google and Apple to ban TikTok from their app stores

midian182

Posts: 8,019   +87
Staff member
What just happened? Brendan Carr, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, has called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their respective app stores following new reports that users' data is being accessed by the Chinese-based employees of its parent company ByteDance.

"TikTok is not just another video app. That's the sheep's clothing. It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing," Carr tweeted.

The already-popular TikTok saw an uptick in users during the pandemic and now boasts over 1 billion MAUs (monthly active users). This is despite long-held privacy and national-security concerns over China-based ByteDance accessing sensitive information about those who use the short-form video platform.

The new reports that Carr mentions comes from BuzzFeed News. The publication writes that leaked audio from more than 80 internal ByteDance meetings confirmed that engineers had repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users between September 2021 and January 2022. The report was published a few hours after TikTok said it had migrated 100% of US user traffic to a new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Carr included in his tweet a copy of the letter he sent to Apple boss Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking for TikTok to be removed from the companies' respective app stores. He states that the app "poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting combined with Beijing's apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data."

"TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface," Carr wrote. "It's not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That's the sheep's clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data."

The Trump administration fought a long-running battle with TikTok, including a threat to ban the app if a US buyer did not purchase it. Microsoft and Oracle seemed interested but neither company made a move. The deadline to buy eventually passed without the government implementing a ban.

Masthead credit: drserg

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kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,123   +822
So many questions - were these recordings using TikTok ? what company does that ?
- had a glance at that document - claims March 2020 - researchers found TikTok harvesting passwords , addresses of BC wallets ( is that access or access with passwords ?? ) on iphones
Lots of apps tried and bypass permissions - some get kicked , some don't . For Tiktok in theory to have that access on an Iphone - Apple stuffed up - if true .
Surely business for important meetings and messages should be using end to end encryption .

Well suppose it's only Tik Tok that spies on us and not any ISP, phone manufacturers , operating systems, browsers , apps .
With the American Justice Department seizing peoples phones - does make you wonder how easy to "clean" a phone - I mean these people know they need to delete texts etc

For the average citizen - a much bigger threat is a neighbour or a policeman pulling up info on city ,state , federal computers to stalk you
Remember those websites for X dollars we will provide a heap of info about anyone you want ( USA thing )

Had a look don't seem to sell Huawei phones here in NZ - still can buy xiaomi
 

Achaios

Posts: 389   +1,079
Υep, China will be responsible for WWIII, no doubt abt that.

We already knew fm like 2 yrs ago, I saw an advisory directed to US Mil Personnel ordering them to specifically permanently remove Tik Tok fm their phones.

China and their unhealthy obsession with Dragons. They are the Dragon of the Apocalypse that "rises from the sea" in Chapter 13.

I hate anything associated with dragons.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,240   +6,054
Couldn't agree more. While we're at it let's ban ALL apps that send any sort of data back to China. All Chinese Internet traffic is scanned by their intelligence services. By law, all domestic online service providers in the country must provide unlimited backdoor access to the government. The PRC has operatives at every major Chinese company - not secretly, but openly, with their own offices. And, let's be honest..practically no software that originates in China has any real value and NONE of it can be trusted. 99% of it is malware-ridden garbage.
 

Dsirius

Posts: 142   +249
This is hilarious. FCC is angry that TikTok is better at spying than their own Facebook, the NSA spying app. Banning competition because they are better than u is a sign of weakness and the beginning of decadence for USA. They did it in the past, and they are doing now. USA in it's hypocrisy and desperation will try to ban any app, manufacturer, corporation, even country which is better than USA and make more successful products.
 

gabelogan1324

Posts: 48   +60
Oh, now TT is a problem under this administration but not with any childish name-calling attached to it but when the Trump administration exposed TT, ooOOh, Trump is just being xenophobic, huh? 😏
exactly! this isnt new at all! Trump wanted to ban Tiktok but the gov't didnt want to! this is just stupid. its why I will never use that app.
 

Hooda Thunkett

Posts: 14   +17
It's almost if we've known this for years, and our Congress and general public who are inept and ignorant respectively have completely ignored what's right in front of them.

Weird.
You forgot the word "apathetic." That definitely describes the general population of the U.S. Well, at least the roughly 40% that don't vote.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,102   +1,294
What they are doing may not be any different from America's scummy social data gathering companies but it is CHINA! They are communists hell bent on taking over the world. Any data gathered by Chinese companies is reported directly to the communists in charge to be used for nefarious purposes.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,418   +2,940
TechSpot Elite
Ok, this might be true or it might not. Here are three problems that I have with this:

#1 - Governments have repeatedly shown over and over and over again that they have absolutely ZERO problems with lying through their teeth if it furthers their own agendas, whatever those are. How people can still give credence to what ANY government says when they've been lying to us about pretty much everything our whole lives makes me wonder just how dumb some people must be to take what their government says at face value. At what point do we become smart enough to take what governments say with a kilogram of salt? It is often said that "We'll wait for the independent test results" of CPUs and GPUs because we know better than to believe what manufacturers say. We should definitely treat the crap that governments tell us in the exact same way that we treat CPU/GPU performance claims.

#2 - Even if it IS true (and that's a big IF), who cares? What strategic value does China glean from the user information of someone who goes on rants about the most inane topics imaginable or makes funny videos about how he can make his wife gag on command? Does the special insight that they get from a blonde girl lip-syncing "Hi, I'm a s-l-u-t!" give them a leg-up on the West? Of course not, this is just the US government stirring up their populace to manufacture consent to a war with China. Why else would the USA give a damn about the user information of a few people on TikTok when they don't even care enough to give them Medicare for all? It's all a ploy and people are falling for it hook, line and sinker!

#3 - One thing that TikTok HAS proven is that it can be a lifesaver to people who are in a bad situation and have no other way to covertly ask for help. Do people need to be reminded about what happened at the "Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch" in Missouri? You know, where these girls were being beaten, raped and sodomized by the "Ultra-Christian" owner of said ranch? They used TikTok to expose what was happening and I can tell you, on that day, I considered TikTok to be one of the greatest things online just because of how it has helped so many people in bad situations get out of them. People today have memories akin to goldfish because nobody else has brought this extremely pertinent aspect of TikTok up yet so here's a reminder:
Girls alleged abuse at Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch for years. It stayed open until they got on TikTok.
As far as I'm concerned, if the price of saving these girls is China getting a little user info on TikTok, that's a goddamn bargain!
 
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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 880   +1,519
Says the user that is using a social media platform to respond about how stupid people are use social media platforms.....lol......briliant

I don't view forums at game or tech sites as social media (they're the only forums I visit). I guess it depends on personal views.

Sites and apps that people share all their daily life details and try to link you with everyone else on the site in some form or another would be social media for me.

I don't have techspot or TPU trying to suggest me friends, or suggest the next video to watch from an algorithm designed to keep you clicking and giving out more and more details about your likes/dislikes. I don't have to provide any personal info for being able to participate for others to see.

To each their own. If you feel any form of media where others can join in is "social media" (such as a forum), you're free to think that.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,238   +1,927
TechSpot Elite
Ok, this might be true or it might not. Here are three problems that I have with this:

#1 - Governments have repeatedly shown over and over and over again that they have absolutely ZERO problems with lying through their teeth if it furthers their own agendas, whatever those are. How people can still give credence to what ANY government says when they've been lying to us about pretty much everything our whole lives makes me wonder just how dumb some people to take what their government says at face value. At what point do we become smart enough to take what governments say with a kilogram of salt? It is often said that "We'll wait for the independent test results" of CPUs and GPUs because we know better than to believe what manufacturers say. We should definitely treat the crap that governments tell us in the exact same way that we treat CPU/GPU performance claims.

#2 - Even if it IS true (and that's a big IF), who cares? What strategic value does China glean from the user information of someone who goes on rants about the most inane topics imaginable or makes funny videos about how he can make his wife gag on command? Does the special insight that they get from a blonde girl lip-syncing "Hi, I'm a s-l-u-t!" give them a leg-up on the West? Of course not, this is just the US government stirring up their populace to manufacture consent to a war with China. Why else would the USA give a damn about the user information of a few people on TikTok when they don't even care enough to give them Medicare for all? It's all a ploy and people are falling for it hook, line and sinker!

#3 - One thing that TikTok HAS proven is that it can be a lifesaver to people who are in a bad situation and have no other way to covertly ask for help. Do people need to be reminded about what happened at the "Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch" in Missouri? You know, where these girls were being beaten, raped and sodomized by the "Ultra-Christian" owner of said ranch? They used TikTok to expose what was happening and I can tell you, on that day, I considered TikTok to be one of the greatest things online just because of how it has helped so many people in bad situations get out of them. People today have memories akin to goldfish because nobody else has brought this extremely pertinent aspect of TikTok up yet so here's a reminder:
Girls alleged abuse at Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch for years. It stayed open until they got on TikTok.
As far as I'm concerned, if the price of saving these girls is China getting a little user info on TikTok, that's a goddamn bargain!
As much as I don't typically recommend Vox for much meaningful content - this article answers your question(s) with context, examples, and how the existing Chinese control has been abused historically:


As another user posted prior - crazy when Orange Man of last presidency does same thing Old Man of current presidency does and the ridicule is 180% different by everyone.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,418   +2,940
TechSpot Elite
As much as I don't typically recommend Vox for much meaningful content - this article answers your question(s) with context, examples, and how the existing Chinese control has been abused historically:

Oh I know that. Don't think for a moment that I was defending China. That's a terrible government and I know that very well. All I was pointing out was that it could be BS or that it doesn't really matter because it's only TikTok.
As another user posted prior - crazy when Orange Man of last presidency does same thing Old Man of current presidency does and the ridicule is 180% different by everyone.
I think that they're both snakes, I mean, sure Trump is way worse but they're both snakes. Anyone who isn't an American will tell you that national health insurance is the best thing in the world and Biden exploited the death of his own son to push against it because he's funded by private health insurance companies. Anyone in a developed country that isn't the USA knows just how terrible this is. When I saw this, I stopped seeing him as the "kindly old and befuddled man" that the Democratic Party portrayed him as. I saw him as the lying snake that he is and was especially appalled that he used Beau's death to further the agenda of companies like Humana and BlueCross-Blue Shield. There is no redeeming someone who would do that:
So yeah, make no mistake, I think that most of the Democrats are a bunch of creeps. Not nearly as bad as the Republicans but still bad. In this case, the lesser of the two evils is still evil.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,418   +2,940
TechSpot Elite
I don't view forums at game or tech sites as social media (they're the only forums I visit). I guess it depends on personal views.
Yeah, anyone who thinks that Techspot is social media is taking the wrong drugs. Social media is just that, SOCIAL. This means that the primary purpose for the site's existence is a societal function and doesn't specifically have one topic.

We talk about technology here or how it relates to other aspects of society but technology is always involved in our forums. The only exception to this is the "off-topic" forum which is very limited and something that most people probably ignore (I know that I do).

In any case, this thread is in no way social media. That person is just using a strawman argument in an attempt to further an agenda. It's no surprise that I ignored him long ago because the second I see something insane (like what he posted) my "TROLL ALERT!" alarm goes off in my head and the ignore button gets pressed.

Life is much nicer when the nuts and weirdos no longer exist. :laughing:
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,213   +2,744
I just wish twitter, Tik-Tok, instagram and the rest would go away.
"influencers", "followers" and what not. If you could pop an emp that
would only target cell phones, (not the infrastructure, just the phones)
it would cause mass panic if people couldn't read what so and so celebrity
is doing.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 880   +1,519
I just wish twitter, Tik-Tok, instagram and the rest would go away.
"influencers", "followers" and what not. If you could pop an emp that
would only target cell phones, (not the infrastructure, just the phones)
it would cause mass panic if people couldn't read what so and so celebrity
is doing.

....so....

What is "so and so" celebrity doing right now? I need my fix, man!
 

Khanonate

Posts: 199   +57
Υep, China will be responsible for WWIII, no doubt abt that.

We already knew fm like 2 yrs ago, I saw an advisory directed to US Mil Personnel ordering them to specifically permanently remove Tik Tok fm their phones.

China and their unhealthy obsession with Dragons. They are the Dragon of the Apocalypse that "rises from the sea" in Chapter 13.

I hate anything associated with dragons.
Including GOT?