Donald Trump Jr. urged Congress to ban the China-controlled social media app TikTok from the U.S. and pass new “hardcore” laws which would protect U.S. citizens’ private data from the Chinese Communist Party.
The White House said it backed legislation a bipartisan group of senators introduced to allow the U.S. to ban TikTok.
On Tuesday, a dozen senators gave the administration new powers to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats.
The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) act gives the Department of Commerce power to prevent and mitigate information communications and technology (ICT) transactions that pose risks to the U.S. national security.
“We’ve got to figure this TikTok thing out,” Trump Jr. told the DailyWire.
“But I got to thinking, well hold on just a second, a lot of these social media companies have China issues and if we’re going to do something here, it needs to apply to all of them.”
Trump Jr.’s remarks come after he called on Congress to take action to prevent the data of social media companies from going to China.
“While we’re going hardcore on TikTok regulations, how about NO American data flowing through China for ANY social media company?!” Trump Jr. tweeted. “No letting Facebook, IG, Twitter or anyone else off the hook for data security and privacy in whatever ends up happening.”
Meanwhile, deputy national security adviser, Matt Pottinger, and the deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, David Feith, warned in a New York Times piece how Chinese communist dictator Xi Jinping is trying to make the Chinese Communist Party “the world’s most powerful data broker.”
In 2018, Facebook revaled its “data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies” dating back to 2010.
According to NYT, Facebook gave “private access to some user data” to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, a company banned from the U.S. due to threats to U.S. national security.
The report adds that China collected data from Facebook, which included information on users’ “religious and political leanings, work and education history, and relationship status.”
The Washington Post reported that China also uses a sophisticated internal internet-data surveillance network to gather data from social media platforms “to equip its government agencies, military and police with information on foreign targets.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ranking Member Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding answers about the four data-sharing partnerships with China.
According to the Senators, Facebook knew for almost a decade that 90,000 China developers had access to large amounts of sensitive user data, including “user IDs, photos, as well as contact information and even private messages.”
Facebook also acknowledged that the hostile foreign nations which obtained access to private data from the U.S. included state actors “known to collect data for intelligence targeting and cyber espionage,” according to the senators.
During the end of President Donald Trump’s time in office, he took executive action to ban TikTok from the U.S. However, Trump’s efforts were stopped by Joe Biden when he came into power.
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