Intelligence Expert: Is TikTok China’s Trojan Horse. What we can anticipate in the future may be predicted by past behaviour.
In a letter to the two tech giants on June 28, 2022, U.S. FCC commissioner Brendan Carr urged “Apple and Google to delete TikTok from their application store for its history of surreptitious data practises.” He claims “TikTok is more than a simple video app.
Is TikTok China’s Trojan Horse?
That is sheep’s clothes, though. It gathers large amounts of private information that, according to recent sources, is accessed in Beijing.” This declaration, according to the general director of a cyber security firm with a whitepaper on TikTok as well as a former intelligence professor, is consistent with earlier actions taken by China and raises the question, “Is TikTok china’s Trojan Horse?”
TikTok has the capacity to work as a sophisticated gathering and surveillance tool that gathers large amounts of personally identifiable data for the Chinese government, according to recent revelations by Buzzfeed and Internet 2.0. Why does this theory hold up under investigation? One explanation is that China has frequently had access to data gathered in the United States.
In a letter to U.S. Senators on June 30, TikTok admitted that “Employees outside the U.S., especially employees based in China, can have access to TikTok U.S. user data.” In a world without privacy, this news is not shocking.
Despite the fact that China has banned every significant U.S. digital company, organisations like the ACLU argued in 2020 for the existence of Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat on American app stores. The ACLU continues to support China’s cause and berate the Biden Administration in the name of free speech rights.
Biden himself stated on the campaign trail in 2020 that TikTok was a “matter of serious worry” since the “Chinese enterprise” had “Access to over 100 million young people, notably in the United States of America.” As a result, the administration’s stance is not shocking.
For years, China has prohibited all significant American digital companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, as well as Snapchat. Even Winnie the Pooh is not immune to censorship; given his strong similarity to Xi Jinping, he is permanently banned from China’s internet. Foreign journalists and professionals have been banished from China or put in prison after being charged with espionage.
These deeds raise the possibility that China is launching an all-out attack against American media, corporations, academic institutions, and even game developers. They also raise concerns about TikTok’s data collecting tactics.
Anyone who aided the Hong Kong Freedom Protests was attacked, such as game companies, the television program South Park, as well as the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who was fired, when the CCP brutally suppressed as well as destroyed democratic institutions, groups, and residents of Hong Kong.
One of Blizzard’s creators, Mark Kern, said, “Our American ideals are being dictated by an unrestricted Communist economy. We filter both our video games and our films for China. Currently, video game firms are muting pro-freedom and pro-democracy voices.”
Russian and Chinese bans
Russia outlawed Radio Free Europe, the BBC, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other news outlets in the spring of 2022. Russian state media was withdrawn from platforms by American businesses in response: YouTube pulled the RT news channel, DirectTV removed RT America, and Apple removed the RT news app.
In a recent meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Blinken said to reporters, “We are worried about the PRC’s alignment with Russia.” He claimed that despite supporting Russia at the UN and “amplifying Russian propaganda,” China was not acting impartially in his opinion.
It is evident that the Chinese government’s actions have a history of being at odds with its claims to want to positively influence the world order. The most recent instance is the claims that TikTok data gathered from the United States is accessible in China. The United States Department of Defense as well as other U.S. agencies must continue where it left off and prohibit the use of TikTok on official and private devices if the U.S. government does not do so out of concern for national security. TikTok is demonstrating that it is more than just an app.
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TikTok’s capabilities for influence and monitoring is backed and funded by the Chinese government (and its friends). Why wouldn’t U.S. leadership get rid of the Trojan horse that may let an adversary in via the front door if they are worried about influence operations, botnets, misinformation, as well as disinformation efforts by other foreign governments?