Secretary Mike Pompeo said that the Trump administration is considering restricting Chinese phone apps including TikTok, over security concerns.
Pompeo: “We Are Taking This Very Seriously”
While peaking to Laura Ingraham on her behalf Fox News show, Secretary Pompeo said that they were taking security concerns regarding Chinese applications seriously. Ingraham asked if people should download TikTok, and Pompeo replied that individuals only should if they want their “private information in the hands of the Chinese communist party.”
“We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time, whether its the problem of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure. We’ve gone all over the world and we are making real progress getting that out. We had declared ZTE a danger to American national security,” Pompeo said.
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too,” Pompeo added, but clarified he would not enter specifics and announce such a thing ahead of the President.
Bans Already Appearing In Other Countries
Pompeo’s interview follows actions taken against TikTok from other countries around the globe. India banned the app last week, along side 58 other Chinese-owned apps. Jim Molan, an Australian Liberal MP, warned that it may be “a data collection service disguised as social media,” as people who have reverse-engineered the app have found that it “conducts GPS pinging quite regularly” and collects a lot of user data.
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TikTok has flatly denied that they have ever shared data with the Chinese government, and said that if they ever were asked to, they would refuse. They have moved their operations out of Hong Kong because of the recent security law there, in order to futher distance themselves from Chinese authorities.
But TikTok Is A Safe Space For Young Conservatives…
It is indeed a tricky question. Personally, I couldn’t provide a toss if the Chinese government was taking my data to start with. If such a thing, I doubt they’re run by liberals who would try to use my internal data to cancel me or anything of the sort! And from what I’ve seen on the app, there’s a good userbase of young conservatives who aren’t getting cracked down upon, which can be not the case with most other forms social media.
They aren’t Huawei and running our 5G networks, which is a real security threat. However, I certainly wouldn’t want anybody in our military or government to have the app on their phones. Private citizens may not be potential targets, but those folks definitely could be.
The US army already bans TikTok from being used on government owned phones, which is a sensible move. It’s all about balancing the positives of the app, which, right now, include very good use of future generations of conservatives, and the negatives.