Donald Trump issued an executive order in September 2020 that effectively banned TikTok, a Chinese app. Trump attempted to get Microsoft to purchase its assets.
Left-leaning individuals complained that TikTok wasn’t doing the same things as other social media platforms. Trump’s executive orders were clear.
According to the executive order, “this data collection could threaten the Chinese Communist Party access American private and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track Federal employees and contractors, and create dossiers of personal information for blackmailing and corporate spying.”
The EO was challenged by the Federal Court and was never implemented However, Trump was on the Chinese list even though Democrats weren’t.
The executive order that banned TikTok was canceled by the Biden administration in June 2021. They claimed that a more comprehensive national security approach was needed to deal with the threat from China. The Biden administration ended TikTok’s ban in June 2021.
A bipartisan group made the announcement that they had introduced legislation in both the Senate and House to ban TikTok. They stated that they would prohibit any transactions made by social media companies in China, Russia or other countries of concern.
This measure allows the president of the United States to impose sanctions on TikTok and other social media companies to prevent them from being commercially viable in the U.S.
This bill will not be reviewed by either chamber since Congress is only in session for just a few more days this year. It may be reintroduced next week when it has a better chance of passing with a Republican majority.
BuzzFeed News reported that ByteDance’s parent firm TikTok allowed Chinese employees access to non-public U.S. user data. TikTok said it would not give over U.S. data but did admit that some Chinese employees have had access to it.
Christopher Wray, FBI Director, warned Congress that TikTok was an imminent national threat in November. He said that China could use it to control data collection by millions of users and the recommendation algorithm which could be used to influence operations.
Donald Trump tried to have TikTok’s American assets taken by an American company in order to make the app less dangerous to American social media users two years ago. Joe Biden overturned Trump’s executive order banning TikTok more than a year later. Now Congress is ready for concrete steps to protect American citizens against Chinese spying.
Trump won’t hold his breath for an apology, even though he was right.