India has set an “incredibly important precedent” by banning TikTok, says FCC commissioner • Zoo House News
India set an “incredibly important precedent” by banning TikTok two and a half years ago, the FCC commissioner said, predicting a similar fate for Chinese giant app Bytedance in the US
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr warned that TikTok “acts as a sophisticated surveillance tool,” telling Indian daily Economic Times that banning the social app is a “natural next step in our efforts to secure the communications network.”
The senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission said he was concerned that China could use sensitive and non-public data obtained from TikTok for “extortion, espionage, foreign influence campaigns and surveillance.”
“We need to follow India’s example more broadly to stamp out other nefarious apps as well,” he said.
Carr’s comments further illustrate a growing push by US states and lawmakers to become increasingly wary of TikTok, which has amassed over 100 million users in the country.
India has banned hundreds of apps belonging to China, including TikTok, PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India and UC Browser, over the past two years amid skirmishes at the two neighboring states’ borders.
New Delhi said it banned the apps because they posed a threat to “India’s national security and defense which ultimately compromises India’s sovereignty and integrity”.
TikTok had over 200 million monthly active users in India and counted the South Asian nation as its largest international market for users prior to the ban.
“India’s strong leadership was informative and helpful as we debated banning TikTok in the US,” Carr told Indian newspaper (Paywalled). “For those who argue that there is no way to ban an app, India is an example of a country that has done it and has done it successfully.”
The US House of Representatives banned TikTok on all House-managed devices last week, citing it as “high risk due to a number of security issues.” The move followed nearly two dozen states that blocked the app, at least in part, for state-managed devices over concerns China might use it to track Americans and censor content.
“If you look at the history of TikTok’s malicious data streams and its misleading depictions, I see no way forward for anything other than a blanket work ban,” he told the newspaper.