back to article States label TikTok 'a malicious and menacing threat'

Two more US states have launched aggressive action against made-in-China social media app TikTok. Texas on Wednesday banned the app from government devices, with governor Greg Abbott ordering [PDF] the ban "to protect sensitive information and critical infrastructure from TikTok." "TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from …

  1. Joe W Silver badge

    Sp why don't we use the sensible alternative?

    "Douyin contains many more safeguards – including required youth modes, real name authentications, bans on minors viewing live broadcasts, prevention of salacious material and restrictions on how long and when minors can access the app. Chinese users under the age of 14 are limited to 40 minutes of daily use, between 0600 and 2200."

    Ok, interesting would be if it can be available in Ye Olde App(le) Store - and if the time limits consider time zones and daylight saving time....

    (and I wonder why anyone would install it on an official device - I mean, are there no rules what you can install on your work device? I know we have those, though I don't have a company phone and won't get one)

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Sp why don't we use the sensible alternative?

      Presumably in order to enforce those restrictions against young users the app requires a bunch of personal data up front. ISTR that TikTok only requires an email address.

      I'm not sure which is better from a privacy perspective.

  2. Twanky

    Why not Douyin? Because Chinese.

    Why install on a work device? Because Freedom.

    There, I think that covers it.

    1. Cav Bronze badge

      "Why install on a work device? Because Freedom."

      You don't have freedom with your employer's device.

  3. deadlockvictim

    Disingenuous

    Ah yes, American politicians being disingenuous again.

    If you are genuinely concerned about the effects of social media on the youth, then ban all of them (and not just the big Chinese one), or, better still, only allow adults to have smartphones.

    This would be no bad thing.

    If you are genuinely concerned about Chinese apps spying on the taste of American youth, then ban all Chinese apps and all purchases from China. We can't have Chinese corporations learning all about the purchasing habits of US citizens.

    I'm not sure what it would achieve, other than indicating to China what you think of them.

    Chinese corporations are, by no means, saints but, then again, neither are the corporations from the First World.

    Are ye doing it just to get at the youth, most of whom, when they vote, they vote for a party that is different to yours?

    Or is this ban really just petty posturing and point-scoring?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Disingenuous

      The article is about banning Tik Tok from government platforms, a move with which I totally agree.

      No because Tik Tok is Chinese, but because I don't see why a government employee should have that on his government-issued smartphone or computing device.

      All governments should have a blanket ban on anything not government-related when using government-oriented platforms, period.

      1. Twanky

        Re: Disingenuous

        All governmentscompanies should have a blanket ban on anything not governmentcompany-related when using governmentcompany-oriented platforms

        - Privacy law compliance

        - Licence/copyright compliance

        - Information security

        - Productivity

      2. deadlockvictim

        Re: Disingenuous

        Point taken. I was a bit too quick in my rush to post.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disingenuous

      > American politicians being disingenuous again.

      You are very charitable, sir.

  4. Alan Mackenzie
    WTF?

    Comparison

    Just how is what TikTok is allegedly doing any worse than what Google or Facebook does?

    Is it just because TikTok is Chinese?

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      Beat me to it ... "TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users' devices – including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity..." is no different to any other "free" media system on the net ...

    2. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      > Is it just because TikTok is Chinese?

      Is it just because TikTok isn't USAsian?

      Chinese just makes it easier to rouse the rabble.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comparison

      If only corporate America had patented the "track everything" concept so no one could use it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kicking it off our network for all 60,000+ users in 3... 2... 1...

    Looking at SIEM logs for historical use there's going to be a lot of pissed off users. Move it to your phones and cellular data plans, bitches! (Not allowed on guest wi-fi either.)

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    "Chinese corporations are, by no means, saints but, then again, neither are the corporations from the First World."

    Agreed but the other First World countries problably don't want to Invade/Control/Dominate the USA

    "Are ye doing it just to get at the youth, most of whom, when they vote, they vote for a party that is different to yours?"

    I doubt that political part affiliation is actually involved, have you actually seen some of what goes on in TikTok these days. I agree with the article in that the contents are really, really not child friendly at all... Nothing to do with left or right, it's just plain common sense to not et your kids spend endless hours on some very disturbing content.

    TikTok, like many of the social media sites, uses subtle but very powerfull methods of ensuring "addiction"..

    You don't want it for your kids and you don't need it for your politicians.

    1. fajensen
      Flame

      Agreed but the other First World countries problably don't want to Invade/Control/Dominate the USA

      Well, partly because nobody with a grain of sanity wants the bother that goes with it and partly because everyone else are hovering around number 700 or so in terms of millitary expenditure :)

      The upset about China (and other pesky foreigners doing pesky stuff) is a growing realisation that the real threat to America is the local "tribals", who very much *do* want to Invade/Control/Dominate all those other people living in the USA, to be "hurting the right people" as they say.

      And they are at that point in the horror movie script where the police is tracing the call, and they will trace it to "Inside The House", in this case the republican side of The White House! Maybe they could also trace some of the funding free speech back to Vladimir Putin while they are at it.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        One thing that the Chinese have got really good at in recent years is using the English language (both US and UK versions). So when a government representative recently reminded us that the US has been at war with somewhere or another for its entire history less 16 years he said this in English. No 'lost in translation' there. He also remarked that the US has over 800 military bases world wide. Apparently this is to protect freedom, democracy and what-have-you.

        Its true that we do have a lot of freedom inside the US, the system suits us. But you foreigners would be amazed at just how restrictive and intrusive our government is -- it tells us where we can and can't go, it tells us who we can and can't trade with (or even talk to) and so on -- and there are quite steep criminal penalties for violating their rules. We're the only country that doesn't ratify treaties and claims exemptions -- we won't take rulings from the ICC, for example. So its not really freedom we're protecting, its entrenched interests -- provided your interests align with them then all is OK. If they don't, then its trouble. That's the core issue here; we've got a rival and we don't do rivals. We're all for competition provided We Win. (OK, so we allowed our men's soccer team to lose but its a foreign game that we're doing our best to ignore despite its popularity among the grass roots. Anyway, the important thing is they beat Iran before the Dutch took them down.)

    2. that one in the corner Silver badge

      > the other First World countries problably don't want to Invade/Control/Dominate the USA

      If only the USA would stop trying to Invade/Control/Dominate the rest of the world...

  7. sitta_europea Silver badge

    Well all right, but I can't help feeling a little disturbed by some of the content of the depositions:

    "Boss ... has to realize that this isn't China where there is far more corruption than in the US. And asking for this type of information from his contact who works for the Federal

    Govt, is technically committing a Federal crime where the punishments are very severe. ..."

  8. iron Silver badge

    > TikTok's parent company itself finds inappropriate for Chinese users who are the same age

    No, they are following Chinese governement rules on Internet access. So, the Indiana AG agrees with the totalitarian communist Chinese gov and wants to copy their laws?

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    Wait, social media on government systems?

    Social media on government systems? Who the hell thought this was a good idea in the first place?!

  10. Lordrobot

    Texas and Indiana both banned ELVIS PRESLEY DEVIL ROCK AND ROLL...

    Ultimately making Rock and Roll more popular among Teens

  11. DyerPiers

    While it's clear that most of these assessments by American politicians are just that - political, including banning or fighting against Chinese social media and software products, some fears still have clear reasoning behind them. For example, the Chinese government COULD be using TikTok for spying or gathering data on Americans, which is why banning it in government is reasonable.

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