Not long ago it appeared that Communist Chinese social media platform TikTok was on its way to being banned in the U.S. Not only has that momentum stagnated, but a shocking new report revealed that Washington instead looked to use the app to spy on American citizens.
Forbes acquired a contract draft between government regulators and TikTok to keep the app running within U.S. borders. However, the agreement between the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and TikTok would create a windfall for agencies.
Several government entities would now have access to the pervasive app’s records and operations.
— Forbes (@Forbes) August 22, 2023
Critics have long accused the Chinese company of harvesting vast troves of data from American users. Now, it is apparent that the government wanted access to that same treasure chest of personal information on its own citizens.
What is the net benefit if Beijing’s surveillance is replaced by surveillance from Washington?
Forbes reported that the draft agreement was formed in the summer of 2022. It would award the U.S. government with unprecedented control over a social media platform with clear dangers to First Amendment-protected free speech.
How much so? The Department of Justice and Department of Defense would have 24/7 access to TikTok’s American headquarters, servers and files without any prior notification.
U.S. officials would further be empowered to shut down any changes to TikTok’s terms of service. Federal agencies could also force the Chinese company to foot the bill for all government audits.
TikTok, in a statement to Gizmodo, did not expressly confirm or deny the details Forbes published concerning the draft agreement with Washington. It did confirm that it had worked on details of an agreement with regards to national security for an extended time.
The company acknowledged “we’ve been working with CFIUS for well over a year to implement a national security agreement and have invested significant resources in implementing a firewall to isolate U.S. user data.”
It claimed that this data is now stored in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure “with tightly controlled and monitored gateways.”
But if Biden’s weaponized intelligence agencies have unprecedented and unfettered access to users’ personal data, is this a significant improvement?
After all, it is clear to see how this White House will utilize any and all means to take down its opponents.