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The United States Attorney’s Office recommended against using TikTok on suspicion of Chinese espionage

Archive photo of the TikTok logo on a mobile phone screen (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

United States Assistant Attorney General, Lisa Monacosaid Thursday that he does not use the social network Tik Tok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, and “would not recommend anyone to do it”alluding to the conjectures that Washington has been launching in recent times about the possibility of Beijing putting pressure on local companies to obtain their users’ information.

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“Data collected today could be used tomorrow in terrifying new ways”speculated the ‘number two’ of the Department of Justice that, together with the Department of Commerce, is planning to implement shock measures to prevent Washington’s competitors from obtaining US technology, according to the chain CNN.

“Any company doing business in China is subject to Chinese national security laws, which require it to hand over data to the state, and that is one reason we should be very concerned.”said Monaco, who accused Beijing of trying to promote its privileges and interests through technology.

Monaco, at an event held in London, stressed that China’s interests are not the same as those of the United States, since, he says, “they feed on and are directed towards an authoritarian approach”, warning that “autocrats seek a tactical advantage over through the acquisition, use and abuse of technology”.

Lisa Monaco (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)
Lisa Monaco (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

That is why it has recommended not to use Tik Tok, an application in the spotlight of the United States to such an extent that the White House and half of the state governments have prohibited their workers from installing it on their official electronic devices for fear that China will steal their information.

“They want to acquire technology by any means, not only to fuel surveillance and repression at home and abroad, but also to gain strategic dominance,” Deputy District Attorney Monaco charged.

“If a company that operates in China collects your data, it is a safe bet that the Chinese government will access it”conjectured Monaco, who emphasized that they are prepared to respond with all the mechanisms at their disposal to those States that make use of technology to undermine US alliances and national security, as well as the rule of law.

Bans in Florida

On the other hand, this Thursday it was revealed that the Congress of Florida, USA, will study a proposal from the governor of that state, Republican Ron DeSantis, who prohibits the use of TikTok in universities and schools of the public system of this state and other social networks from countries that are cause for “concern”.

As reported by the governor’s office, the legislative initiative aims to protect the privacy and “digital rights” of citizens before large technology firms.

File photo of Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida (REUTERS / Marco Bello)
File photo of Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida (REUTERS / Marco Bello)

The proposal bans the use of TikTok and other China-linked social media platforms from all state government devices and through Internet services in public schools and universities, as the governor’s office noted in a statement on Wednesday. The initiative is expected to be discussed in the next regular session of the state Legislature, which will begin in March.

The governor indicated that his proposal responds to the efforts to “combat the China’s evil influence by removing nefarious platforms like TikTok from any state-backed activity.”

“We don’t want to wait here in Florida until we are all trapped in a digital dungeon,” DeSantis told reporters after the initiative was made public. “In China everything is very healthy and patriotic, but in the United States they are trying to inject as much garbage as possible,” said the governor, who was re-elected in November and sounds like his party’s possible candidate for the 2024 general elections.

(With information from EuropaPress and EFE)

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