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Cover image for What are your thoughts on the TikTok ban and the related issues?

What are your thoughts on the TikTok ban and the related issues?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

In terms of data laws and the future of the global Internet, I'm wondering how you feel about these issues.

Let's keep the conversation respectful and not try to litigate every geopolitical issue involved. 🙂

Discussion

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Hii, I am fron India

The situation in India is kind of 200+ Chinese Applications are banned after the military tension of India and China regarding the border in the covid Pandemic.

Tik tok Ban/ China's Tension

Recently Indian Government banned TikTok and personally I feel it is a good action as various news came about TikTok spying.

+ve Affect of Tik Tok Ban in India
I have been playing Pubg for last 2 years and a lot of news came of Pubg spying data leaking etc etc.. but no action was taken as people consider Pubg is Chinese, but just after Tik Tok Ban Pubg Released a New update sperately for Indian Users.
Which states that
For Indian Users Pubg will Use Local storage for Storing important information's

A Dorzens of Chinese application's are involved in data leaking but how the Tech Giant Tencent changed it Policy in 30 Days who was not able to change for last 2 years?

Can we do tit for tat?
Just like China does No Google Apps in China can we too copy china and ask for No Chinese App in World?

Important
I don't know the situation with China and I am not blaming any Chinese guy this is just a common issue with Chinese Gov, policy or whatever so please accept this as a healthy Discuss already Ben mentioned it Above, don't get offended.

Thank You.
We love Chinese people but not Culprits 💗

 

Google and FB are spying on you, its fine but China (if they are doing) its not fine for you. What a hypocrites...

 

This ain't something like Hypocrisy,
Spying is normal they need data's to train models, to learn about users trend that's all fine at a level where Google and Facebook rest themselves, but what about Tok-Tok?

China is using Tik Tok as a Poision in India, spying soliders activity and capturing border is that what Google or Facebook are doing?

Whatever the sense is You are not safe with your data, your country government is spying on you that's fair in side of Human Welfare and peace.

China is misusing the data to Rule over the world, Tik Talk also raised a lot issue with Carding is that what Google and Facebook did?

Also Facebook comes under a Clain of data leak and the investigations are going on in that but are you going to claim To China For Tik Tok? Or for Covid Spread no Cause you are Self Proclaimed Good Man, Right?

Also you can't cause you have a lot of time to call it hypocrisy rather then claims are knowing the origin.

Thanks You @Idress

Even if Google and Facebook are spying I have no issue.

That's the issue. Google and FB are fine with you as you have no hate towards them but to Chinese you have...And when was the last time you heared an action been taken again FB and Google ? they are US companies and just playing dramma on Media and showing to people that US cares and the rest of the world is privacy hell. Anyway you were asking for thoughts so my thought is these big brothers are worse than China and its just coincidence that you haven't face issues with them...

 
 

This pretty much sums up my thoughts...

 

If you haven't already, I'd recommend taking a look at this privacy analysis of TikTok. It pretty much put the nail in the coffin that I would never install this app and I warn any of my loved ones about it:

rufposten.de/blog/2019/12/05/priva...

 

How is this a nail in the coffin? It's standard for any social network and most modern applications. Almost every app (desktop, mobile, or web) sends a massive amount of telemetry back home. Is it right? No. But it's happening everywhere.

 

If you'd like a more detailed, and tutorial-style analysis, I found this useful: blackhillsinfosec.com/lets-talk-ab...

Others have also intercepted the encrypted request parameters: medium.com/@fs0c131y/tiktok-logs-l...

Personally, I think the ban is a smoke screen for political purposes, as @danieljsummers succinctly points out, they're all pretty much as bad as each other, you choose your poison or you stay away from mobile devices pretty much entirely.

 

I had to look this up. I'm out of touch with the kids these days.

I don't really see how it'd work. You can't stop people installing an app, can you? How would that even work? Pulling it from the store won't slow people down. If they try it it'll backfire. It'll be like the Streisand effect.

 

I presume there are measures for enforcing sanctions that Apple and Google etc. have to follow.

Unless the USA were to implement China-esque Internet restrictions (which I assume is not on the table, and would be tremendously ironic) you wouldn't restrict TikTok's website— but TikTok is mostly just a native mobile app.

 

In India you can download TikTok from 3rd party resources but can't access it on
Indian Service provider, and if you wish to Try out VPN and this is what Lead TikTok and China Down.

Ofcourse everyone will not work hard to use application with VPN..

 

Then I guess what would happen is that a US version would appear to fill the vacuum. If it was made as a clone now it wouldn't gain traction against TikTok but if TikTok was banned, maybe it would.

You mean like Instagram’s new ‘reel’ feature that just got released 4 days ago?? 🤔

 

I'd have to disagree on that last part. People can install apps, even if they remove it from the play store or app store. Just like you movie publishers can't so piracy of their movies. Piracy exists on the dark web and centralized web. I am certain you can find APK mirrors of Tik Took online. Same with the IPA files. Such is the beauty of the internet or as Snowden calls it in his book "Permanent Record. "

 

The political front to it all seems to be unsubstantiated and petty. I would be more interested in how the app stores monitor behaviour that violate data privacy laws and cross big ethical boundaries, it should begin with them for sure. There are different versions of apps depending on the country attached to your account, but it's hard to tell if that makes a difference in adhering to national laws.

 

My biggest concern would probably be the scenario where the admin realizes that if they were able to do this, they start using this as a hammer and seeing everything as a nail.

 

From a theoretical perspective I don't have a huge problem, the CCP blocks numerous foreign internet companies from operating inside its borders for political and economic reasons, and has done for a long time. Not sure the pretext that Trump is using for the ban, but there are real political concerns about Chinese companies and their relationship to the CCP.

So I suspect the actual reason for the ban is probably Trump's xenophobia and having a talking point to rally the base in an election year, not some deep concern about TikTok itself.

 

That's definitely a valid point. Politics just filters all the noise. If Tik Tok was the predefined recipe for rigging the elections, it's a piece of cake.

 

It's truly goes back to the 14 eyes. The 14 eyes are group of 14 countries of whom are actively spying till this day and can be avoided at all costs( in terms of their services ). The website privacytools.io is a great resource for those who are truly looking to implement strong privacy into their lifestyle. Privacy is after all a process, not a purchase. To the Tik Tok Ban, it's clearly a violation of privacy, but what truly intrigues me is that people only care about the top apps. It's only the top applications that rise to Fame that get a security audit. There seems to be a correlation between fame and spying.

 

If the service is free, the product is you.

 

Truly somes up every centralized application and service

 

As ew know, in dev.to there are sponsors. But it does not have a sponsor. How the money comes?

 

Just wanted to add more information surrounding this situation:

Video game companies owned by Tencent will NOT be affected by this executive order!

ref

 

Unfortunately this is primarily a political effort that is going to have dramatic impacts throughout tech if it continues...and it seems to be escalating with the latest Executive Orders.

Everything from a factual (a/k/a someone has done a technical analysis and looked at the apps/data) perspective on TikTok shows a social network that works just like the others (though arguably tracks less data about users). Similarly, technical analysis of their apps shows a lot of common practices that happen regularly on desktop/mobile/web where a ton of telemetry is sent back to the support service.

The only difference is the corporate lineage. The parent company being on a jurisdiction seen as "bad" by another jurisdiction. So it's very much an "this is ok with WE do it but not you" type of situation.

Specific to TikTok, the biggest issues is censorship and that is very much a matter of geopolitics. The American view point of near unbounded free speech is unique in the world. Most other western countries have significantly stronger stances on hate speech. China has officially taken a different approach.

Regardless of your politics, this is the latest collision of the old geopolitical viewpoint smashing into the internet worldview.

Modern tech and commerce is so intertwined, that this type of "ban" (and the subsequent "Clean Network" effort from the US State Department), is going to have so many second and third order impacts that it's almost impossible to full comprehend the true result. Oh, and most tech hardware is manufactured in China.

If you want a cybersecurity & privacy view of TikTok specifically, check out this video on my YouTube channel; youtu.be/cqhtl1OsOxg

If you want a glimpse at how messy this will get, check out the Wikipedia entry for Tencent to see how many companies they are financially involved with (currently exempt from the Executive Order based on a White House statement but for how long?); en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent

 

I am strongly against it. I don't know to much about privacy laws and that kind of stuff but in the case that TikTok gets sold to Microsoft or whatever who's to say those companies won't abuse the app and use it to spy.

I just don't like the idea of the US playing Hero and making Chinese companies look the villain.

 

Your last point is truly fascinating. At that point, it would be the West vs the East. The USA has an overly inflated ego, since history and the funniest thing is their subjective use of the word, 'World.'
We are the best in the world at (________). Even if that something is only done in the USA. Major League Baseball is only played by US sports teams and the finals is called the World Championship (how ironic). Back to your point, the USA is certainly best in the World at spying and who knows what Microsoft or some other US based company does after buying Tik Tok. Microsoft could certainly use it to its advantage to compete against YouTube, but who knows.

Lastly, I recommend you check out this website to learn more about privacy privacytools.io

 

It's all geopolitical, or so it seems ... funny though that apparently TikTok might be purchased by a US company (Microsoft?) so that it will continue to be allowed in the US, I wonder if it will then be banned in China? :-)

 

Should we in Europe ban all US apps and technologies for the exact same reason: That the US government is also snooping on all US-based technology?

In Danish we have a saying: A thief thinks everybody steals.

Huawei comms are banned because the Chinese government could be listening. But we have solid proof that the US government has been caught tampering with Cisco equipment so they could listen in. Should we then ban Cisco and HP for good measure?

Where does this end?

 

I haven’t made a decision one way or the other. I think as a free democracy it’s a fine line banning a private company enjoyed by millions for what “could” be.

However, I understand the concern. It does have potential for abuse and the US has consumer protection laws and regulation for a reason. The Chinese Communist Party pasted a law in 2015 that allows the CCP to obtain personal data from Chinese owned companies. That with the reported poor data collection practice TikTok allegedly engages in and the large number of users in the United States does open the potential risk for abuse by CCP.

More about the specific law “In 2015, China passed a National Security Law, which included a provision to give police the authority to demand companies let them bypass encryption or other security tools to access personal data” sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/...

I believe the way they said they would go about the ban would be to make it illegal to engage in business with the parent companies ByteDance and Tencent. Essentially US company’s would have to comply or run the risk of legal action.

 

This is political theater, but because the "excuse" being used is privacy related, it's good to see more people talking about it and the increased awareness. Privacy needs to be a major concern across all users of tech, no matter how we get there.

 

US companies are selling our infos to the Government.

 

True. To some degree, the USA doesn't want your info to go China because they want more of it. All these companies are looking to control or have a piece of your life.

 
 

I think is fine or a must. Kids start to look like idiots in the middle of queues and meetings... a part of other important points.

 
 

I think that TikTok is a real dump. And they needed to ban it a long, long time ago. Instagram is much, much better in this sense. That's why I don't feel sorry about TikTok. Also, they say that China is spying on us by this app. If so, I think that banning it is a perfect idea. And the people who use TikTok - they can just switch it to Instagram. I have a nice account there. With a lot of followers. I've found where to buy followers on Instagram for a low price and now I have tons of followers.