Biden Admin Sought Power to Spy on TikTok Users, Moderate Content

In yet another sign of the Biden Administration’s determination to control, censor, and spy on American social media users, the draft of a proposed deal between Chinese-owned TikTok and the Biden administration shows the latter requesting extraordinary authority over the platform.

The proposed deal, outlined in a 100-page draft obtained by Forbes, would give the U.S. government the power to examine TikTok’s servers with no notice — something that could potentially allow the government to spy on American users.

In a sign of the administration’s preoccupation with censoring social media users, the agreement also reportedly gives the government the power to veto any changes to TikTok’s content moderation policies.

Via Forbes:

The draft agreement, as it was being negotiated at the time, would give government agencies like the DOJ or the DOD the authority to:

  • Examine TikTok’s U.S. facilities, records, equipment and servers with minimal or no notice,
  • Block changes to the app’s U.S. terms of service, moderation policies and privacy policy,
  • Veto the hiring of any executive involved in leading TikTok’s U.S. Data Security org,
  • Order TikTok and ByteDance to pay for and subject themselves to various audits, assessments and other reports on the security of TikTok’s U.S. functions, and,
  • In some circumstances, require ByteDance to temporarily stop TikTok from functioning in the United States.

 The draft agreement would make TikTok’s U.S. operations subject to extensive supervision by an array of independent investigative bodies, including a third-party monitor, a third-party auditor, a cybersecurity auditor and a source code inspector. It would also force TikTok U.S. to exclude ByteDance leaders from certain security-related decision making, and instead rely on an executive security committee that would operate in secrecy from ByteDance. Members of this committee would be responsible first for protecting the national security of the United States, as defined by the Executive Branch, and only then for making the company money.

While there is bipartisan concern about the influence of Chinese-controlled TikTok on American citizens, past proposals to rein in the platform have been characterized by many observers as little more than a Patriot Act style power-grab, giving the federal government unprecedented authority over a social media platform and its users.
The government is already facing multiple lawsuits and investigations alleging collusion with Big Tech companies to undermine the First Amendment rights of Americans. Its demand to influence the content moderation policies of TikTok is further evidence of its focus on controlling speech on social media.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election. Follow him on Twitter @AllumBokhari


Share :

post a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *