By Pamela Geller – on July 31, 2020
Originally posted in The Geller Report
INTERNET CENSORSHIP: TECH GIANTS’ WAR ON FREE SPEECH
China owned TikTok has been caught spying on millions of its users here in the US.
The President is always looking out for us while the Democrat party of treason works furiously to aid and abet our enemies. If the Dems were as good to the President as they are to China, we would be unstoppable.
TikTok links to China put EVERY user at risk of ‘spying and censorship’, experts warn
It’s owned by one of China’s most elusive billionaires, and is linked to a heavily censored and surveilled app called Douyin.
TikTok has a western name and huge popularity in the UK and USA, which is one of the reasons why we launched TikTok Time Bomb – a series to raise awareness of the potential dangers on the app.
But cyber-experts have repeatedly warned about TikTok’s Chinese ownership.
The situation is so serious that last year, a letter by US senators branded TikTok as a “counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore”.
The US Army, Navy, and Marines have all banned soldiers from using the app – and the Transport Security Administration has blocked employees from sharing posts on it too.
TikTok’s owner is mysterious Chinese tech titan Zhang Yiming.
He runs a company called ByteDance, which has earned him an estimated fortune of $13billion (£9.96billion).
ByteDance launched a TikTok-style app called Douyin in China in September 2016.
Douyin is heavily censored by the Chinese government.
Even harmless cartoon character Peppa Pig is banned from being shared on Douyin – because it was being used “subversively”, Chinese censors said.
Zhang launched Douyin as TikTok for the rest of the world in 2017.
And TikTok says it stores and processes user data in the US, not China – with a back-up in Singapore.
But TikTok has admitted that some data may have been processed by the Chinese arm of ByteDance before February 2019.
I hope this has the abusive and totalitarian social media giants quaking in their boots.
Trump says he will ban TikTok through executive action as soon as Saturday
By:Riya Bhattacharjee, Amanda Macias, Jordan Novet CNBC, Fri, Jul 31 2020:
-President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.
-Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method such as a designation, according to NBC News.
-Trump’s comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance.
President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States, NBC News reported.
Trump made the comments while chatting with reporters on Air Force One during the flight back to Washington from Florida.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said, calling the action a “severance.”
Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method. such as a designation, according to NBC News.
“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump said.
Trump’s comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance, one person close to the situation told CNBC. This person characterized the talks as having been underway for some time, rather than being brand new.
Trump told reporters that he firmly rejected the reported spinoff deal involving Microsoft buying TikTok, NBC News reported.
A TikTok acquisition could make Microsoft, a major provider of business software, more concentrated on consumer technology, which Microsoft has moved away from somewhat in recent years, by exiting the smartphone hardware, fitness hardware and e-book markets.
Chinese company ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017. The app has grown more popular during the coronavirus pandemic, with 2 billion downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower. Competitors include Facebook and Snap.
ByteDance investors seeking to take over TikTok have valued it at $50 billion, Reuters reported earlier this week.
The rise of TikTok in the U.S. has prompted the Trump Administration to scrutinize the app.
Microsoft declined to comment on the talks, which were first reported by Fox Business Network.
“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” TikTok said in a statement Friday.
Trump said earlier on Friday that the administration was looking at various options for what to do with TikTok, including banning the app.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was looking at banning TikTok as well as other Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns. Pompeo added that the Trump administration was evaluating TikTok akin to Chinese state-backed tech companies Huawei and ZTE, which he has previously described as “Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence.”
U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and threatens national security. Beijing maintains it does not engage in intellectual property theft.
The move by the Trump administration represents another step in the deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing and comes a week after the U.S. closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting China to shutter the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.
The Pentagon has taken concrete steps to discourage U.S. service members and their families from using Chinese-backed tech.
In December, the Defense Information Systems Agency advised that all Department of Defense personnel should not use the Chinese-owned social media platform, citing a “potential risk associated with using the TikTok app.”
A year earlier, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world again citing national security concerns.