An FCC representative recently called for a ban of TikTok in the United States.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr called for a complete ban of TikTok in the U.S.
- The social-media app’s close connection with the Chinese government has been a growing security concern debated by U.S. officials.
- While the FCC does not possess any authority to enforce a TikTok ban, Congress has followed recommendations from Carr in the past.
Why it’s news
Security concerns around TikTok and how to address them have been hotly debated among U.S. officials. TikTok officials are currently in negotiation with the Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
One solution to the security concerns is parent company ByteDance divesting TikTok to a U.S. based company that can continue to run operations in the U.S.
A potential deal was taking shape in September, however Carr believes that these negotiations won’t be successful.
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” Carr told Axios. Carr continued saying there is no situation “in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”
Carr’s comments come not long after new reports showed how TikTok uses its data.
Earlier this year in June, Carr sent letters to both Apple and Google, asking that TikTok be removed from their app stores.
A TikTok spokesperson responded to Carr’s comments saying, “Commissioner Carr has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner. . . We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the U.S. Government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns.”
Backing up a bit
In early October, rumors of a preliminary agreement between the Biden administration and TikTok began circulating. If a tentative agreement is in place, it may resolve U.S. security concerns about the social-media app.
Though they are still working out the details, the solution would involve TikTok updating its security practices but does not require parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok, according to The New York Times.
The deal involves three main changes…
- requiring U.S. data to be stored on servers operated by Texas company Oracle
- monitoring of TikTok algorithms through Oracle
- creating a board of security experts to monitor server operations.
Concerns from some U.S. officials involved in negotiations mean that the deal is yet to be finalized. Many U.S. officials worried that the deal is not tough enough.