He CEO of TikTok He will appear before the panel on Thursday US CongressWhere will it be? Data and user security were raisedHe even filed his own lawsuit over why the hugely popular video-sharing app shouldn’t be banned.
Testimony of Shou Ji Chev This comes at a critical time for the company 150 million US users But it is under increasing pressure from the country’s authorities. TikTok and its parent company Bytetans They are caught up in a broader geopolitical battle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology.
Chew, 40, from Singapore, is doing A rare public appearance to counter the barrage of allegations facing TikTok. On Wednesday, The company sent dozens of popular TikTokers to the capital Legislators must be pressured to defend the platform. It has run ads across Washington promising to protect user data and privacy and create a safer platform for its young users.
Chew plans to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee that TikTok prioritizes the safety of its young users and denies allegations that the app poses a national security risk.
TikTok has been dogged by allegations that its Chinese franchise could end up with user data in the hands of the Chinese government or be used to promote stories favorable to the country’s communist leaders.
“We understand the popularity of TikTok, we get it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “But the president’s job is to reaffirm that Americans and national security are protected.. “
For its part, TikTok is trying to distance itself from its Chinese origins, saying its parent company ByteDance is 60% owned by global institutional investors like the Carlyle Group. Byte Dance was founded in 2012 by Chinese businessmen in Beijing.
“I will say this unequivocally: Bait Dance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Chew said.
Prohibition of Application in the United States It will be unprecedented And it is not clear how the government will implement it.
According to experts, the authorities may try to force Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, thereby preventing new users from downloading it and existing users from updating it, which would be ineffective.
The U.S. could block access to TikTok’s infrastructure and data, seize its domain names, or force Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to filter TikTok’s data traffic, according to criminal law expert Ahmad Kapoor. Teaching computer security in Boston University School of Law.
But a tech-savvy user can circumvent restrictions by using a virtual private network, he explained, located in another unblocked country.
To avoid the obstacle, TikTok has been trying to convince officials of a $1.5 billion project called Project Texas, which sends all US user data to domestic servers owned by software giant Oracle. According to the bill, access to US data is managed by US employees through a separate company called TikTok US Data Security, which employs 1,500 people and is managed independently of ByteDance and monitored by external auditors.
In October, all new US user data was stored in the country. This month, the company began deleting all historical U.S. user data from non-Oracle servers, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to Chew.
Several Western countries, including Denmark, Canada and New Zealand, have already banned TikTok on devices issued to public servants, along with the European Union, citing cybersecurity concerns.
In the United States, the federal government, Congress, the military, and more than half of the states have banned the use on official devices.
David Kennedy, a former government intelligence official who runs cybersecurity firm TrustedSec, agrees to restrict access to TikTok on official phones because they may contain sensitive military or other classified material. However, a nationwide ban could be more extreme. He wondered where it would end up.
“We have Tesla in China, we have Microsoft in China, we have Apple in China. Will they start banning us now? Kennedy said. “It can scale very quickly.”
(With information from AP/Kelvin Chan and Hallelujah Hadero)