Senators join calls for US TikTok ban as Biden administration considers deal

midian182

Posts: 8,497   +106
Staff member
What just happened? Once again, the incredibly popular TikTok has come under fire from US politicians over claims that the Chinese are using it to spy on US users. The bipartisan warning comes as the Biden administration considers a deal that would allow the app to continue operating in the United States.

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Mark Warner warned of the dangers posed by TikTok, which has over 138 million active users in the US, calling it an "enormous threat." The Virginia Democrat backed Donald Trump's moves to prohibit the app in 2020. The former president signed an executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat in the US, but Biden replaced and revoked the orders in June. Biden's new order directed the Commerce Department to review apps tied to foreign adversaries.

"Well, I think Donald Trump was right," Warner told Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday. "So if you're a parent, and you've got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned. All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing."

Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton was equally damning "It's not just the content you upload to TikTok but all the data on your phone, other apps, all your personal information, even facial imagery, even where your eyes are looking on your phone," he said on the Fox program, adding that TikTok is "one of the most massive surveillance programs ever, especially on America's young people."

There have been growing calls for tougher action against TikTok recently. Earlier this month, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr said a national ban from the Apple App and Google Play Stores should be implemented. He said there is very little confidence about the company's ability to properly handle US users' data.

Meanwhile, as noted by Bloomberg, Republican lawmakers Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin have said they're introducing legislation to ban TikTok from use in the US. There was also a warning from FBI Director Christopher Wray to a house panel over Chinese government access to users' data.

The Biden administration is still considering a proposal that would allow TikTok to continue operating in the US. It would include routing US user traffic through servers maintained by Oracle, which would also audit the app's algorithms. Additionally, TikTok claims it is working on a project that will isolate data from American users so it can only be viewed by employees in the US.

h/t: Bloomberg

Permalink to story.

 

sorten

Posts: 186   +300
TechSpot Elite
I'm curious about this bit:

>>>Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton was equally damning "It's not just the content you upload to TikTok but all the data on your phone, other apps, all your personal information, even facial imagery, even where your eyes are looking on your phone,"<<<

I'm not sure how this is possible. At least in the Apple ecosystem, an app is isolated and need to declare in its manifest exactly what data and sensors it uses, and it can't step across those boundaries. It certainly can't access "all your personal information", and since when do phones have sensors for eye tracking?

I'm not saying there shouldn't be a review of TikTok and it probably would be good to have user data stay within US boundaries. Such restrictions are commonplace in other countries, including China. But I'm reading a bit of fearmongering and ignorance in some of the claims.

 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,396   +4,412
Nothing like making a villain out of some stupid online video platform to distract the citizens of the USA from the REAL problems that they're facing, eh? I'll just copy-and-paste the last thing that I said about this:
Their schools are underfunded, their infrastructure is crumbling, their crime rate is through the roof, there's an epidemic of opioid addiction, medical bills are bankrupting people, they have a catastrophic shortage of affordable housing, their Supreme Court is full of psychopaths and they're on the verge of another civil war.

Forget all that though, the US government's first priority is banning TikTok.

😫
Original Post:

I'll add to that the fact that their gun control is non-existent, the middle class has almost completely disappeared, and the police are power-tripping racists who shoot first and ask questions later.

If they spent half of the effort that they're spending on this, they'd have solved some REAL problems by now. They won't do anything that actually matters though because they like it when their populace's expectations are kept ludicrously low. That's their comfort zone.

The Republicans cause damage and the Democrats do nothing. It's the "American Way".
 
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human7

Posts: 154   +131
If the U.S. government is so concerned, perhaps they should address the root of the problem: a lack of a comprehensive federal privacy law. What that law looks like would of course be the next question, but TikTok isn't do anything illegal (to my knowledge), and neither would any other app that is doing this "mass surveillance". The only reason Congress cares is because China is their favorite boogeyman right now.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,396   +4,412
If the U.S. government is so concerned, perhaps they should address the root of the problem: a lack of a comprehensive federal privacy law. What that law looks like would of course be the next question, but TikTok isn't do anything illegal (to my knowledge), and neither would any other app that is doing this "mass surveillance". The only reason Congress cares is because China is their favorite boogeyman right now.
Yeah, it seems stupid to ban something that hasn't broken any laws because there are a lot of platforms based in the USA that are a much bigger threat to their national security than TikTok ever was.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,960   +7,019
Nothing like making a villain out of some stupid online video platform to distract the citizens of the USA from the REAL problems that they're facing, eh? I'll just copy-and-paste the last thing that I said about this:

Original Post:

I'll add to that the fact that their gun control is non-existent, the middle class has almost completely disappeared, and the police are power-tripping racists who shoot first and ask questions later.

If they spent half of the effort that they're spending on this, they'd have solved some REAL problems by now. They won't do anything that actually matters though because they like it when their populace's expectations are kept ludicrously low. That's their comfort zone.

The Republicans cause damage and the Democrats do nothing. It's the "American Way".
Tell me you get all your foreign news from CNN without saying you get all your foreign news from CNN.
If the U.S. government is so concerned, perhaps they should address the root of the problem: a lack of a comprehensive federal privacy law. What that law looks like would of course be the next question, but TikTok isn't do anything illegal (to my knowledge), and neither would any other app that is doing this "mass surveillance". The only reason Congress cares is because China is their favorite boogeyman right now.
Since when do governments do things to protect people? That's jsut silly talk.

Their entire argument over tiktok is so dumb. It's literally used by 99% to screw around and post silly videos. It's no mroe a national security risk then twitter......wait.

I think the government really is just pissed that younger people dont listen to their bots *AHEM* "not nationally sponsored" media conglomerates anymore, and the likes of CNN, ABS, MSNBC, ece dont have a grip on internet media they way they do TV.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,502   +3,249
If anything, this would make me want to use TikTok, because the only reason for the “outrage” that I can see is that none of the 3 letters agency seems to have access to their data, unlike everything from meta (lord, what a stupid name).
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,396   +4,412
Tell me you get all your foreign news from CNN without saying you get all your foreign news from CNN.
I don't trust CNN or any US-based network that only does news because they over-sensationalise everything to maximise their corporate profits. I get most of my news from CBC, CTV and Global. The only US-based TV-based news that I (mostly) trust is PBS.
Since when do governments do things to protect people? That's jsut silly talk.
:laughing:
Their entire argument over tiktok is so dumb. It's literally used by 99% to screw around and post silly videos. It's no mroe a national security risk then twitter......wait.
I know, eh? :D
I think the government really is just pissed that younger people dont listen to their bots *AHEM* "not nationally sponsored" media conglomerates anymore, and the likes of CNN, ABS, MSNBC, ece dont have a grip on internet media they way they do TV.
Yeah. Truth be told, I think that the Internet-based US news network that has the biggest following is probably TYT. I've fact-checked them a few times and they've never failed so they seem to be pretty much ok. They're left-biased but they admit it freely and I like the honesty. The most important thing to me is that they tell the truth and they do.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,960   +7,019
I don't trust CNN or any US-based network that only does news because they over-sensationalise everything to maximise their corporate profits. I get most of my news from CBC, CTV and Global. The only US-based TV-based news that I (mostly) trust is PBS.
And yet somehow you end up with the most over sensationalized view of every single american issue. It'd be like if I watched the BBC and came to the conclusion that britian was 5 seconds away from civil war and had millions of pedos wandering the streets.


Yeah. Truth be told, I think that the Internet-based US news network that has the biggest following is probably TYT. I've fact-checked them a few times and they've never failed so they seem to be pretty much ok. They're left-biased but they admit it freely and I like the honesty. The most important thing to me is that they tell the truth and they do.
Bruh, are you serious? TYT? Never failed a fact check? Ask them about the armenian genocide they still deny to this day.....
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,396   +4,412
And yet somehow you end up with the most over sensationalized view of every single american issue. It'd be like if I watched the BBC and came to the conclusion that britian was 5 seconds away from civil war and had millions of pedos wandering the streets.
Well you have to understand that I see it through Canadian eyes. Things are happening there that would be unthinkable here.
  • There was nothing overly-sensationalised about George Floyd's death.
  • There's nothing overly-sensationalised about the January 6th insurrection.
  • There's nothing overly-sensationalised about the attack on Pelosi's husband.
    • There's nothing overly-sensationalised about the fact that the USA has more mass shootings per year than there are days in the year and the only solution offered is "Thoughts and Prayers".

It may not seem like a big deal to someone who grew up in the USA, but at the same time, what goes on in Saudi Arabia isn't a big deal to someone who grew up there either. That doesn't mean that other countries don't find many things that happen there to be appalling without the need for over-sensationalisation. I think that you don't realise just how different the USA has become compared to every other country in NATO.
Bruh, are you serious? TYT? Never failed a fact check? Ask them about the armenian genocide they still deny to this day.....
Bruh, are you serious? Cenk Uygur denies the Armenian Genocide? What right-wing conspiracy-theory nutjobs have you been listening to? I think that between the two of us, it is you who hasn't been fact-checking. Hell, his co-host Ana Kasparian is of Armenian descent. Right here, in a video from THREE YEARS AGO, he says PUBLICLY that the Armenian Genocide happened while admitting that he once wrote a column back when he was in college that did deny it. He came clean and admitted that he was wrong. I respect that immensely, especially considering how few mainstream journalists have the cojones to do the same thing in his position:
This is why I don't trust the claims of people who have no evidence to support it, especially Americans who tend to be incredibly gullible and will believe lies without bothering to verify them. It's not a knock against you personally, lots of Americans do this without intent or a second thought about it. It's not a good thing though because it can result in embarrassment when someone proves you wrong. Now, I didn't do this to embarrass you, I did it to set the record straight and to maybe get you to question what you think you know. The amount of misinformation out there is just insane and lots of people fall for it.

Since this video was posted three years ago and the one time that he denied the Armenian Genocide was when he was in college, how is it possible that he denies it, as you put it, "to this day"? I don't think that you made this up because it's clear that a lot of people think this, but you really need to check your sources better.
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,724   +2,693
I'd like the full monty on what North American social media and websites collect first. Start at home then go abroad...
 

human7

Posts: 154   +131
I'd like the full monty on what North American social media and websites collect first. Start at home then go abroad...
Agreed. That's what a national privacy law would address, at any rate. If the go after TikTok they are just playing whac-a-mole with our data, not really regulating the wholesale collection, repackaging, reselling, and brokering of it.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,396   +4,412
Agreed. That's what a national privacy law would address, at any rate. If the go after TikTok they are just playing whac-a-mole with our data, not really regulating the wholesale collection, repackaging, reselling, and brokering of it.
No, but they're making it appear like they're doing something. It's just another "hoodwink the American people to serve corporate interests" situation. Tiktok is chosen as the sacrificial lamb because of its Chinese roots. I doubt that the government actually cares if it's Chinese so long as the American people think that they're doing something.
 

Hodor

Posts: 436   +320
The problem is not in this one social network. The problem is in censorship and propaganda policies. Social networks are censoring good things (logical thinking and conclusions) while promoting harmful things, like "Slap the teacher" challenge, and such.

Continuously allowing disruptive and criminal activity on a social network, regardless of its ownership, should be an automatic condition for shutting it down. They have 2 days to remove offending users and their challenges. If they don't comply the network goes down until the condition is fulfilled. And of course, they also get fined. If it happens again, CEO should be imprisoned.

This should apply to all such sites, including YouTube for example.
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 754   +630
Nothing like making a villain out of some stupid online video platform to distract the citizens of the USA from the REAL problems that they're facing, eh? I'll just copy-and-paste the last thing that I said about this:

Original Post:

I'll add to that the fact that their gun control is non-existent, the middle class has almost completely disappeared, and the police are power-tripping racists who shoot first and ask questions later.

If they spent half of the effort that they're spending on this, they'd have solved some REAL problems by now. They won't do anything that actually matters though because they like it when their populace's expectations are kept ludicrously low. That's their comfort zone.

The Republicans cause damage and the Democrats do nothing. It's the "American Way".
So much wrong in that post. The Democrats are flooding the USA with literally millions of unvetted illegal aliens during a recession. The Democrats are putting the screws to the oil & gas industry in the US thus driving prices of goods through the roof. The Democrat cities are a warzone anymore and last time I checked criminals don't follow the law so no need to disarm US citizens in the hopes they can't defend themselves when the Democrats are defunding the police while the Democrat DA's and judges refuse to uphold the law. btw anyone who thinks a person of color is un-capable of obtaining a photo ID is the real racist RE Democrats.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving.