TikTok Denies That It Could Be Used To Track US Citizens
Rumours of a TikTok ban in the US have sent users wild after United States attorney general Merrick Garland and top Justice Department officials called a conference to address "national security issues".
The popular platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance has consistently been accused of being a threat to national security.
Brendan Carr, who was nominated by former president Donald Trump for a five-year term with the FCC in 2018, claimed it was a "sophisticated surveillance tool" which is responsible for the "surreptitious access of private and sensitive US user data".
"TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothing," he wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
"At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data."
Trump also threatened to ban the app in 2020, citing, once again, a national threat. The executive order has since been revoked by Joe Biden.
Now, Mohammed Alyahya of the Hudson Institute has claimed to have heard about the possibility.
In a tweet, he wrote: "Hearing chatter that the US will ban TikTok today. Chatter that Huawei will be banned today followed by TikTok."
\u201cHearing chatter that the US will ban TikTok today.\u201d
— Mohammed Alyahya \u0645\u062d\u0645\u062f \u0627\u0644\u064a\u062d\u064a\u0649 (@Mohammed Alyahya \u0645\u062d\u0645\u062f \u0627\u0644\u064a\u062d\u064a\u0649)
The tweet has garnered thousands of polarised likes, retweets and responses. Some believed a ban would be an appropriate move, with one suggesting: "This is actually good news if true."
Meanwhile, one avid TikTok user fittingly quoted one of the platform's trends: "Oh NO. Oh no. Oh no no no no no."
Good news for avid TikTok users, however, as it appears there is no TikTok ban after all – at the time of writing.
Attorney Garland informed the press that the US government was going to charge two Chinese nationalists with trying to obstruct justice in an investigation into Huawei Technologies Co – not a TikTok ban.
In 2020, the US accused Huawei Technologies of stealing trade secrets and committing bank fraud.
A year later, they also added conspiracy to commit racketeering to the list of charges against the company.
Indy100 reached out to TikTok for comment.
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