(Natural News) Taiwan has banned video sharing app TikTok from government-owned communication devices and is now considering extending that prohibition to the general public.
According to an unnamed official from the Taiwanese Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA), the ban on TikTok applied to government-owned devices such as mobile phones, tablets and desktops. Aside from the video-sharing app, its Chinese counterpart Douyin and the social media platform Xiaohongshu were also prohibited from being installed on these devices. Xiaohongshu, translated as the “little red book,” is the Chinese version of the Instagram app.
News of the ban imposed by MODA broke on Dec. 5, with Taiwan News saying that it applied to “public sector devices.” The following day, New Taipei City announced it would work with the central government to implement the ban.
Digital Affairs Minister Audrey Tang Tsung-han said on Dec. 9 that an inter-ministerial committee meeting will be convened to discuss the possibility of extending the ban to the public. She added that a report on the proposal will be filed at the information security meeting at the end of December.
Lawmaker Mark Ho Chih-wei, a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, warned on Dec. 6 that the app could be used to spread “united front disinformation.” He cited accounts of Douyin impersonating Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang and other government agencies to back up his warning.
According to the country’s Mainland Affairs Council, companies funded by Beijing are not allowed to run online platforms in the island nation. Furthermore, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent firm ByteDance does not have a branch in Taiwan.
A spokesperson for the company told the Epoch Times in an email that it is “happy to continue having constructive meetings with state policymakers” to talk about the privacy and security practices of the app.
“We believe the concerns driving these decisions are largely fueled by misinformation about our company. We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices, and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with constituents.”
U.S. officials call on Washington to ban TikTok
Brendan Carr, commissioner at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), lauded Taiwan’s decision to ban TikTok from government-owned communication devices. He commended the MODA’s “smart and strong leadership … based on a national security determination” in a tweet.
Carr, who was formerly the FCC’s general counsel, previously urged the U.S. to ban the app. He argued that it would be impossible for U.S. officials to determine whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has access to TikTok users’ data.
The FCC commissioner is not alone in his concerns regarding the Chinese video app. U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned that parents should be concerned about their children’s use of TikTok during an NBC News appearance.
Haines said that the CCP is “extraordinary” in its collection of “foreign data,” and its methods of doing so pose national security and privacy risks. The director mentioned Beijing’s ability to obtain data and “target audiences for information campaigns or for other things, but also to have it for the future, so that they can use it for a variety of means they’re interested in.” (Related: Experts warns TikTok is spyware for the Chinese regime.)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) remarked: “If you’re a parent, and you’ve got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned. All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing. I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat.”
“[It’s not] just the content you upload to TikTok, but all the data on your phone, other apps, all your personal information, even facial imagery, even where your eyes are looking on your phone,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
The senator blasted TikTok as “one of the most massive surveillance programs ever, especially on America’s young people.”
Watch this G News report about FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr calling for the U.S. to ban TikTok.
This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.
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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem bans TikTok on state-owned devices, citing app’s intelligence gathering operations.