New problems between United States and Tiktok

New problems between United States and Tiktok

By dayannastefanny

The social network TikTok have new problems with United States, where Congress, the Justice Department, and even the FBI have launched investigations against it for alleged espionage and information theft. According to “Forbes,” the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The department has already requested information from the Chinese company about its employees’ attempt to access the geolocation of American journalists. As well as other private user data, using the Tik Tok application.

The company itself confirmed after an internal investigation that the application had been used by some of its employees to obtain information on U.S. users.

Earlier this month, a bill that could lead to a total ban on the TikTok app in the United States passed a key stage in Congress. The text, introduced by a Republican lawmaker, would give President Joe Biden the authority to completely ban TikTok, the subsidiary app of Chinese group ByteDance. This is because many U.S. lawmakers perceive the short-form video platform as a threat to national security.

In that context, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, will today, Thursday, February 23, seek to convince the U.S. Congress not to veto the popular app amid fears that the company has ties to the Chinese government. The 40-year-old CEO of the social network will address the powerful House Commerce and Energy Committee to submit to an hour-long grilling by Republicans and Democrats. Who fear that Beijing is turning the site into espionage or propaganda.

TikTok is coming under enormous pressure in Western countries. Government officials from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, as well as the European Commission, have been forced to remove the app from their devices.

An ultimatum from the government

The U.S. government has issued an ultimatum to TikTok to stop being Chinese-owned or face a total veto in the country. Such a ban would represent an unprecedented action against a media company by Washington, as it would deprive 150 million monthly users in the country.

“Let me say this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country”

Chew will tell the lower House committee, according to prepared remarks released in advance of the hearing.

“TikTok has never shared or received a request to share U.S. user data with the Chinese government. Nor would TikTok comply with such a request if it ever occurred”

Chew will add in his opening statement later today.

A few days ago, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) demanded that the parent company ByteDance must sell its shares of the application if it is to continue operating in its territory, where it has more than 100 million users. In addition, in February, the U.S. administration ordered the removal of the application from all official phone devices. This decision was replicated by the European Union and several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Taiwan.

For her part, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that

“Americans deserve to know the extent to which their privacy is being compromised and their data manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China. What’s worse, we know that big tech companies, like TikTok, use harmful algorithms to exploit children for profit and expose them to dangerous content”

the Republican added.

Protests over the ban

On Wednesday, March 22, a group of TikTok content creators went to the U.S. Capitol to protest calls to ban the popular Chinese app amid fears that it poses a threat to national security. Users who support TikTok argue that the platform is no more exposed to data breaches than any other app that collects personal information. They also argue that lawmakers should work to tighten privacy laws instead of acting like party poopers.

A few days later, the two Chinese apps managed to circumvent the recall, arguing before the courts that the executive and depository choice was contrary to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So in a broad sense, it defends freedom of religion, lamination and the right of exempt assembly. However, what freed TikTok from recall was the effective settlement of the formation of its acquisition in the United States by Oracle and Walmart.

Controversy in the United States over the use of the Chinese app has escalated after the recent revelation that ByteDance used the social network to spy on journalists. Last month, the Dutch government advised civil servants to stay away from the app for similar reasons.

For some time now, Brussels has been focusing its attention on TikTok and other tech giants. In this context, Brussels has threatened to ban its use in the European Union if it does not prevent minors from accessing potentially lethal videos and if it does not prevent the transfer of user data to third countries. The Digital Services Act (DSA) forces social media platforms, online marketplaces, and search engines to react more quickly to remove content deemed contrary to EU regulations.

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