Democratic Senator admits ‘Donald Trump was right’ about TikTok

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

President Donald J. Trump was right that the CCP-run app- Tik Tok is a problem for Americans when he wrote an executive order banning Chinese apps Tik Tok and We Chat over national security concerns and the political idol of Democrats; Biden revoked the executive order over concerns of ‘Free Speech’ for the Communists.

“Trump’s ban faced a series of legal challenges and never came into force, the BBC wrote about Biden’s actions, “Instead, the US Department of Commerce will now review apps designed and developed by those in “the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary,” such as China.”

And their review under Biden was worthless to the American people, according to the outspoken Democrats who smashed Tik Tok as a danger to the US.

“It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, Biden said at the time he overturned Trump’s EO, giving the CCP better access to the American people.

Trump ordered the ban on new downloads of the viral video app TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm Bytedance, in 2020.

A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation but a series of legal challenges, and the fact Trump was due to leave office shortly afterward, meant neither the ban nor the involvement of the US companies ever came to fruition.

Biden said that the federal government should evaluate threats posed by China-based apps and software through “rigorous, evidence-based analysis” and should address “any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives”, however that hasn’t been effective according to concerned parties.

At the time, Biden acknowledged that apps can “access and capture vast swathes of information from users,” adding, “this data collection threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information,” he said.

TikTok is used by about 80 million Americans every month.

Ashley Gorski, a senior American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, welcomed Biden’s decision to overturn the ban.

“President Biden is right to revoke these Trump administration executive orders, which blatantly violated the First Amendment rights of TikTok and WeChat users in the United States,” she said, adding more details,

“The Commerce Department’s review of these and other apps must not take us down the same misguided path, by serving as a smokescreen for future bans or other unlawful actions.”

However, one brave Democratic lawmaker backed Donald Trump’s efforts to ban China’s TikTok app and warned staff might be able to spy on user data.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia warned parents to keep their children from the social media attack and said that the China-owned app threatened Americans’ privacy.

‘Well, I think Donald Trump was right,’ Warner told Fox News reporter Shannon Bream. ‘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.’

Warner added that TikTok is a broadcasting network – and if the Chinese Communist Party wanted to promote propaganda about the CPP and convince the younger generation that the country is a part of Taiwan, then they could.

Brendan Carr, the Federal Communications (FCC) commissioner, also called for a halt of the app on Google and Apple earlier this year.

Carr posted on Twitter in June urging the tech giant to remove the video-sharing platform ‘from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices.’

The commissioner included a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, expressing why TikTok needs to be removed, citing a report from last week that ‘shed fresh light on the serious national security threats posed by TikTok.

‘It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting combined with Beijing’s apparently unhindered access to sensitive data, Carr wrote in the letter.

‘But it is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentation regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive US user data puts it out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app store.’

The letter continues with ‘some concerning’ evidence about why the China-owned app should be removed.

This includes an incident in March 2020 when researchers discovered the app was accessing users’ sensitive data – passwords, cryptocurrency wallet addresses and personal messages through Apple’s App store.

Carr also notes that several US military branches have banned TikTok on government-issued devices and have urged personnel to remove the app from their personal smartphones.

As well as China, user data is accessible to employees in Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Singapore and the United States.

TikTok has acknowledged access to its user data has been a problem.

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