Colorado Senator Calls for TikTok Ban
Colorado Springs, Colo. (KKTV) - Today Colorado senator Michael Bennett wrote a letter to the CEOs of both Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet asking them to remove the popular social media app TikTok from its app stores. The senator cited national security concerns as reason for the ban saying “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could weaponize TikTok against the United States, specifically, by forcing ByteDance to surrender Americans’ sensitive data or manipulate the content Americans receive to advance China’s interests,”
ByteDance own the app which has over 100 million American users. The app is banned from federal devices, as well as state devices in 27 states. That is not the case in Colorado, but a spokesperson from the Governor’s office tells me in part “State devices should be utilized for work purposes not for the use of social media apps unless they are needed to effectively perform your duties.”
Former President Trump tried to unilaterally ban the app in 2020 but was stopped by federal courts. Two separate bills to ban the app were introduced in both the house and senate last December. When those bills were introduced TikTok issued a statement saying “We are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable U.S. national security concerns and have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions.”
Charles Zug, a political science professor at UCCS tells me that a 2017 Chinese law is fueling most of America’s concern. “My understanding is that the Chinese government passed a law in 2017 that basically gave their security agencies... Their equivalent of the FBI and CIA. The power to seize data from private companies at any time, secretly, without having to say what it is, or why they’re doing it.”
“The concern is that the Chinese government essentially at any time can secretly obtain data from that company that has data about American users.
He adds that the concern is a two way street, lawmakers are concerned that ByteDance would be forced to turn over massive amounts of data on its American users (including faceprints and voiceprints) but they are also concerned that the CCP could use its control over the app to influence China’s image overseas.
“China could control exposure that American users have to TikTok. Which could include censoring of information about Chinese treatment of, for example the Uyghur community which is a persecuted group with in China.”
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