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The United States studies how to prevent China from using TikTok for espionage

The United States studies how to prevent China from using TikTok for espionage
United States President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, United States, December 22, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

government officials of USA pressure for a forced sale from the Chinese company TikTok in the North American country and thus ensure that Beijing cannot use the application for the espionage and political influenceaccording to media sources The Wall Street Journal.

The sales proposal arose in the discussions of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), an interagency panel of the president’s administration Joe Biden which for two years has been negotiating with TikTok on a way to isolate the company’s data and operations from the Chinese regime, the sources told the US outlet. Members of the Pentagon and the Department of Justice support the operation.

The concerns of US officials are that the regime of Xi Jinping have access to TikTok data or influence videos that Americans see on the social network. That is why they understand that the solution is to separate the application from its Chinese owner, bytedancebased in Beijing, argues The Wall Street Journal.

Tik Tok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a ByteDance logo pictured in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File
Tik Tok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a ByteDance logo pictured in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File
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“We are talking about a government that, in the estimation of our own intelligence community, is intent on move the use of global technology and regulations to privilege their own interests and valueswhich are not consistent with ours,” he told The Wall Street Journal deputy attorney general Lisa Monacowithout specifically mentioning TikTok.

CFIUS members say they could make a recommendation to Bidenwho has the authority to force the sale, or divestment, of TikTok by its Chinese owners so that it can continue to operate in the United States.

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TikTok has spent three years trying to assure US government departments and agencies that citizens’ personal data cannot be accessed and their content cannot be manipulated by the government. Chinese Communist Party or any other entity under the influence of the government of that country.

Last year, Biden repealed an executive order from his predecessor Donald Trump to ban TikTok in the United States, but negotiations between his administration and the social media company continued over a potential deal that would address security concerns.

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EFE/EPA/Roman Pilipey/File
EFE/EPA/Roman Pilipey/File

US lawmakers seeking to crack down on China as part of a broader set of disputes over trade, intellectual property and human rights have seized on security concerns about TikTok to put pressure on the white house to take a hard line.

TikTok has already unveiled several measures aimed at appeasing the US government, including an agreement for oracle corp store application user data in the United States and a division of United States Data Security (USDS) for data protection oversight and content moderation decisions.

has disbursed $1.5 billion in hiring and reorganization expenses to create that unit, according to a source familiar with the matter.

A Chinese national flag flies between Oracle flags at its office buildings in Beijing, China, September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File
A Chinese national flag flies between Oracle flags at its office buildings in Beijing, China, September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File

However, some government officials, including those from the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Central Intelligence Agency, continue to oppose a deal security, according to sources.

In the last weeks, at least 14 states have blocked TikTok on government-managed devices. The Congress The U.S. is scheduled to pass a law this week that prohibits federal government employees download or use TikTok on their state-owned devices.

Democrats and Republicans share concerns about TikTok’s security issues, so what started a few years ago as a Trump initiative has evolved into an increasingly bipartisan issue.

(With information from Reuters)

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