Democratic Senator Admits Trump Was Right About TikTok
(USNewsMag.com) – During former President Donald Trump’s time in office, Democrats were quick to point out everything they felt he did wrong. They battled him on critical pieces of legislation and knocked his policies. It continued even after he left office. However, one senior Democrat is now admitting Trump was right about something — and it involves millions of users’ security.
Trump Tries to Ban Popular TikTok App
In August 2020, Trump signed an executive order, invoking his emergency powers to put an end to millions of Americans’ vulnerability. He feared the video-sharing app TikTok was exposing users’ information to China, which owns the app’s parent company, ByteDance. The order outlawed transactions between the app and US customers, and would have resulted in its removal from both Apple and Google stores. Trump faced backlash for the action, from TikTok itself and from others who say the action was an attack on freedom of expression. Federal courts eventually blocked the orders to fully shut down the apps.
In June 2021, President Joe Biden did away with this ban, which also included WeChat, a popular messaging app. Now, one Democratic Senator is saying he agrees with Trump on the matter.
“Trump Was Right”
Speaking from Australia, where he’s meeting with intelligence experts and politicians, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) admitted Trump was right in regards to the security risks TikTok poses, especially considering nearly 87 million people used it in 2021. Estimates say by 2025, the number of users could exceed 103 million.
It’s not just the social media app he’s concerned about, though. He said other apps and technological devices make it easy for China to get their hands on sensitive information and inflict “undue influence.”
Warner pointed to Huawei, a Chinese-owned company that manufactures smartphones, and the social media platform WeChat as possible threats. He says it’s “scary” to think about “China having this kind of technology domination” because of the “Orwellian surveillance state” it created in its own country.
Other Countries Express Concern
Like the United States, Australia has reservations about TikTok and its security risks as well. Cybersecurity minister Clare O’Neil has ordered the appropriate authorities to investigate the app’s data collection security. There are far fewer users in Australia — 7.4 million — than in the US, but the app’s Australia branch admitted China had access to its users’ data. With these two countries alone, that’s nearly 100 million people whose information has been exposed, almost all of whom are unaware.
So far, the Biden Administration has tried to create a security deal with TikTok that meets standards for the app’s continued operation in the US. However, there have been disagreements over the terms, which could mean several months before any concrete action is taken.
Do you think TikTok poses a security risk? Do you use the app?
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