Tag Archives: WeChat

Obama-appointed judge finds Chicom-owned TikTok is a “hypothetical risk”

In August President Trump issued executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat in 45 days, citing national security fears.

In December last year the Army banned use of the app on government-issued devices citing that the app is a “cyber threat.”

Apparently that Pentagon advice is not good enough for Obama-appointed Judge Wendy Beetlestone as on Friday she issued an injunction blocking the President’s restrictions of TikTok operating in the U.S. on November 12.

Judge Beetlestone and Obama

From Yahoo:

“TikTok has won another battle in its fight against the Trump administration’s ban of its video-sharing app in the U.S. — or, more accurately in this case, the TikTok community won a battle.

This particular lawsuit was not led by TikTok itself, but rather a group of TikTok creators who use the app to engage with their million-plus followers.

According to the court documents, plaintiff Douglas Marland has 2.7 million followers on the app; Alec Chambers has 1.8 million followers; and Cosette Rinab has 2.3 million followers. The creators argued — successfully as it turns out — that they would lose access to their followers in the event of a ban, as well as the “professional opportunities afforded by TikTok.” In other words, they’d lose their brand sponsorships — meaning, their income.

This is not the first time that the U.S. courts have sided with TikTok to block the Trump administration’s proposed ban over the Chinese-owned video sharing app. Last month, a D.C. judge blocked the ban that would have removed the app from being listed in U.S. app stores run by Apple and Google.

That ruling had not, however, stopped the November 12 ban that would have blocked companies from providing internet hosting services that would have allowed TikTok to continue to operate in the U.S.

The Trump administration had moved to block the TikTok app from operating in the U.S. due to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, claiming it was a national security threat. The core argument from the judge in this ruling was the “Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical.

That hypothetical risk was unable to be stated by the government, the judge argued, to be such a risk that it outweighed the public interest. The interest, in this case, was the more than 100 million users of TikTok and the creators like Marland, Chambers and Rinab that utilized it to spread “informational materials,” which allowed the judge to rule that the ban would shut down a platform for expressive activity.”

Read the whole story here.

Last August I wrote about the threats coming from the Chicoms associated with this app:

“How much of security threat is using TikTok? For starters, it’s owned by the Chicoms.

Second: The app uses facial recognition technology and is storing user’s facial geometry.

Third: The app violates children privacy laws (which is the majority of users). TikTok paid a $5.7 million fine to the FTC in 2019 over collecting personal information from kids under 13, a violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

From what I’ve read online, this app collects more data from a phone than any other app does including IP addresses, contacts, browsing histories and unique device identifiers.

Lastly: It’s owned by the Chicoms.”

I’d bet $1,000 that ANYTHING associated with the Chicoms IS a REAL risk. Especially this:

DCG

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Totalitarianism: China will keep ‘social credit’ score on each citizen for reward/punishment

Bloomberg reports, Nov. 21, 2018, that the Chinese Communist government is on course with a program to track and rate the behavior of each of its 1.3 billion people and assign social credits or points that will be used to reward or punish. The program will be implemented in two years, by the end of 2020.

According to the plan, various agencies, including tourism bodies, business regulators and transit authorities, will link their databases to get a detailed picture of every resident’s interactions across a swathe of services.

The tracking of individual behavior is made possible as economic life moves online, with apps such as Tencent’s WeChat — a multipurpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app — and Ant Financial’s Alipay — China’s leading third-party mobile and online platform for making payments, getting loans and organizing transport. Accounts are generally linked to mobile phone numbers, which in turn require government IDs.

More than a dozen cities have announced the plan, including Hangzhou and Beijing:

  • On November 17, 2018, Hangzhou, a city in Zhejiang, eastern China, rolled out its personal credit or point system, whereby the behavior of every citizen 18 or older will be tracked. Those who exhibit “pro-social behaviors” such as volunteer work and blood donations will be rewarded, while those who engage in anti-social behaviors such as violating traffic laws and charging under-the-table fees will be punished.
  • On November 19, 2018, the Beijing municipal government posted its social credit plan on its website. The city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish its 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations. Those with better social credit will get “green channel” benefits. Those who violate laws or are deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step”. According to the website, the social credits plan was written on July 18, 2018.

Already, as of last May, people with bad social credit in China have been blocked from booking more than 11 million flights and 4 million high-speed train trips, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The final version of China’s national social credit system remains uncertain. But as rules forcing social networks and internet providers to remove anonymity are increasingly enforced and policing bodies increasingly employ facial recognition systems, the government will find it easier to identify, catch, and punish those deemed anti-social, from internet dissenters to train-fare skippers.

Facebook has already acquiesced to Beijing’s totalitarianism.

In June 2018, Facebook admitted it has data-sharing “partnerships” with at least four Chinese electronics companies — Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL — at least one of which, the manufacturing giant Huawei, has a close relationship with China’s government and has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat. The agreements, which date to at least 2010, give the companies private access to some Facebook user data. (New York Times)

No doubt the Left would dearly love to implement such a “social credits” system on Americans.

Already, there is a proposed bill in the New York State Assembly, S. 9191, that would require a review of one’s social media and Internet search engine prior to the approval of an application or renewal of a gun license.

~Eowyn

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