Biden withdraws orders to ban TikTok in the US

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Biden withdraws orders to ban TikTok in the US

The White House reported this Wednesday that President Joe Biden revoked the executive orders of his predecessor Donald Trump that sought to ban the Chinese-owned mobile application TikTok. The former president pushed the boundaries of what US national security laws were designed to accomplish. He shamelessly used his powers under a 1977 law, the IEEPA. He used it to target everything from Chinese social media platforms to war crimes prosecutors. The republican even tried to force the sale of TikTok to American investors. The republican even tried to force the sale of TikTok to American investors. US courts fought back many of Trump’s most audacious maneuvers. They were prohibiting enforcement of the bans on TiktoK and WeChat as well as sanctions on International Criminal Court officials. 

In a statement, the White House said that instead of banning the popular applications, the Biden administration would conduct rigorous evidence-based analysis. It would address the risks of Internet applications controlled by foreign entities. Especially those that collect personal information from users and whose technology has ties to China.

Biden’s order intends to identify any connected software applications that may pose an unacceptable risk to the security of the United States and the American people. It includes owned, controlled, or operated applications by individuals who support military or military activities of foreign adversaries.

Personal data protection

The new executive order asks the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies to develop guidelines to protect from misuse of sensitive personal data. This would include personally identifiable information and genetic information. The white house noted that certain countries, including China, seek to use digital technologies and data from Americans. As a result, it poses security risks while helping authoritarian interests and controls.

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is estimated to have about 1 billion users worldwide. Including more than 100 million in the United States. It is especially popular with young smartphone users. 

As mentioned above, Trump also issued another executive order in August 2020 to ban the popular messaging app WeChat. Again, the government cited national security risks. 

WeChat, which is part of Chinese tech giant Tencent, is a trendy application that includes social media, messaging, e-commerce, and much more.

Federal courts have blocked both orders from August 2020 after facing a series of lawsuits brought by app users and the companies themselves.

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