Spying on the world with Tiktok, with Google?

Last week, US lawmakers who criticized Tiktok’s CEO raised concerns that China would spy on the US through Tiktok. America spying on the world through Google is being criticized for concern about Chinese espionage.

While pointing fingers at China, lawmakers have not noticed how the US itself uses technology companies for global espionage.

US lawmakers have not only raised their voice to ban TikTok. Google, Meta and Apple are trying to legislate on spying on non-Americans abroad.

America is preparing to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill known as ‘FISA’ by next December. Under section 702 of this bill, the US Secret Service has special espionage privileges. They can spy on foreign nationals through email, phone or online without any notice.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects its citizens to a great extent regarding privacy.

The US government has empowered mechanisms such as the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to conduct espionage. America is spying on foreign citizens and also informs its allies Britain and Australia.

Although it is normal for the US to spy on foreigners, the US wants other countries not to spy on foreign countries. Organizations like Google, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, which are dominating in the modern age of Internet, are becoming allies of American espionage. However, America is telling billions of people in the world that there is danger from Tiktok.

Researchers say this American style is not for me it is for others. Asser Wolfe said, “The American character that the rules are for others, not for me, is reflected here as well.”

Wolff believes that the US concern is not about surveillance, but that they should be able to strongly regulate and control all social networks. America’s concern about Tiktok is that they should be able to control it. It has to be able to monitor. “There’s an American mindset that all social media should be run under American rule,” says Wolff.

For US data security, Tiktok has partnered with Oracle to store data in Texas. It is monitored by American personnel. However, the headache for the US is the Chinese ownership of TikTok.

Suzy Chiu, the CEO of Tiktok, who was present to make a statement in the US Parliament last Thursday, could not give a satisfactory answer in the parliament. China’s spying through this app and whether China’s spying is legal or not, Chiu could not convince the US. A week after the statement, US Congress spokesman Kevin Marty said, ‘We will leave the law to save America from the Chinese Communist Party’s technological trap.’

The US has banned TikTok on its government equipment. Britain, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand have also followed suit.

‘America’s concern ridiculous’

In regards to privacy, the privacy of non-Americans is not taken into account among American voices that TikTok is dangerous. The New York Times has also written a news about this. In a news story about Section 702 of the FISA Act, the Times wrote, ‘Privacy of non-Americans overlooked in ongoing debate.’

According to US espionage statistics, in 2021 it spied on 232,432 foreigners. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, since 2011, the US has spied on one billion communications data. “The United States that is concerned about TikTok is examining billions of data,” Jonathan Hafeez, an expert on US constitutional law, told Al Jazeera.

Suzy Chiu, CEO of Tiktok

He says that American worries and anxieties about privacy are absurd. The debate and concern that America has expressed about Tiktok is very funny. Hafeez says, they are trying to stop China from doing so by arguing that it is their right to collect the data.

China’s response

China has been denying the US allegations. He warned that if Tiktok is banned then they should think about investing in American projects. China’s response has been to discourage investors from investing in the technology.

In 2013, China accused the US of playing a game of deception on cyber security. China’s response comes after Edward Snowden, who worked for the US National Security Agency, revealed about US spying.

When cyber security officials contacted the FBI, they were asked about the reason behind the TikTok ban. He said he recommended the ban based on details in the news about China’s spying. There was no analysis of TikTok.

American social networks Facebook, Google and Instagram are not paying attention to data security. Some networks have also come under scrutiny for not being sensitive to human rights.

A government technician there said, “If the concern that China might be spying is justified, it is true that the US is spying through various social networks.”

Section 702 of the Espionage Act has been amended twice. Republicans say they will not put it back on the ballot without some effective changes. There are also some Democrats who argue that the law should not be passed without privacy protections.

Bloomberg reports that Meta, Apple and Google are also interested in the warrant. Those companies are interested in getting information about what data they will provide. Even if foreigners are targeted, Americans communicating with foreigners under Section 702 of the FISA Act would also be subject to surveillance.

Americans say – necessary for national security

US officials argue that the law is necessary for national security. Civil liberties advocates are concerned that the US can monitor and spy on whether they act in accordance with US interests. “Journalists and human rights activists who do not interfere with terrorism or US national security may also be monitored,” says legal practitioner Assalle Gorsi.

Some critics say that the United States should not only advocate for the protection of personal data, but also implement it in practice. He is of the opinion that if America bans TikTok then all the issues will not be resolved. When you have TikTok, it collects the same information as other US apps. Just as we use the details of technology companies that we own, they also use it. But why don’t they say it openly like America?’ FBI agent Mime says German.

Bhedan Sekara, professor of information technology at the University of Copenhagen, says, “The Tiktok ban is politically motivated. If they are really concerned about privacy, they should debate policies for all companies, not just Ticketmaster.

American social networks Facebook, Google and Instagram are not paying attention to data security. Some networks have also come under scrutiny for not being sensitive to human rights.

Recently, Twitter and YouTube censored a documentary about the Indian Prime Minister. Facebook also helped in this. He was accused of inciting ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. ‘America has adopted a policy of blocking competitors like an autocratic and totalitarian government. “Trying to stop foreign companies by giving exemptions to their own companies is trying to take over sovereign cyberspace,” said Jyoti Pandey, a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

With the help of agencies

Source: OnlineKhabar

Himal Sanchar