President Donald Trump is doing everything he can to protect the citizens of the United States but Democrats keep attacking him for it.
The president announced that he was going to ban the popular Chinese video app TikTok because officials believe the Chinese are using it to spy on Americans, The Daily Mail reported.
President Donald Trump announced on Friday he will ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from operating in the United States.
Trump said the popular video-sharing platform could be barred as soon as Saturday by executive order or through use of emergency economic powers.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” the president said on Air Force One as he came back from Florida.
“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that [emergency economic powers],” the president said.
After reports emerged that Microsoft could purchase the app the president said that he was not in favor of an American company acquiring the company.
“Banning an app like TikTok, which millions of Americans use to communicate with each other, is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical,” The American Civil Liberties Union said on Twitter.
TikTok responded to the threat by saying that the app has American investors, American employees and thousands of American users.
“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US,” the company said. “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
This is a rare occasion when Democrats and the president are on the same page as, in October, Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton penned a letter expressing concerns about the app.
“We write to express our concerns about TikTok, a short-form video application, and the national security risks posed by its growing use in the United States,” the senators said.
“TikTok is owned by Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, which operates several other content platforms in China. ByteDance regards its platforms as part of an artificial intelligence company powered by algorithms that “learn” each user’s interests and preferences through repeat interaction.
“TikTok’s terms of service and privacy policies describe how it collects data from its users and their devices, including user content and communications, IP address, location-related data, device identifiers, cookies, metadata, and other sensitive personal information. While the company has stated that TikTok does not operate in China and stores U.S. user data in the U.S., ByteDance is still required to adhere to the laws of China,” the said.
“Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Without an independent judiciary to review requests made by the Chinese government for data or other actions, there is no legal mechanism for Chinese companies to appeal if they disagree with a request.
“Questions have also been raised regarding the potential for censorship or manipulation of certain content. TikTok reportedly censors materials deemed politically sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party, including content related to the recent Hong Kong protests, as well as references to Tiananmen Square, Tibetan and Taiwanese independence, and the treatment of Uighurs. The platform is also a potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 2016 election on U.S.-based social media platforms,” they said.