- If TikTok is banned in the US, connecting to the app won’t be as easy as using a virtual private network.
- The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has threatened to ban TikTok if ByteDance does not sell its stake.
- A ban on TikTok in the US may require an exclusion from mobile app stores.
TikTok is risk of being banned In the US, if Chinese parent company ByteDance does not sell its shares. Millions of Americans using the popular video app are wondering what it means for them.
Some fans of the service may try to connect to TikTok using a virtual private network (VPN). This workaround may cause your internet connection to appear to come from another country. But exploiting that loophole may not be so easy.
This is still not an issue, as there are still some ways to bypass or legally access TikTok’s ban in the US.
What does a ban or forced sale look like
The Commission on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency body that assesses national security concerns about apps and determines how to minimize risk as they continue to operate in the country.A group can be recommended as President Joe Biden The unwinding of ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of TikTok’s predecessor, Musical.ly, forcing it to sell those assets.
TikTok recommends mitigation as an alternative to forced sales.But CFIUS already threatened to ban If ByteDance does not sell shares.
A forced sale is a complex step and involves unwinding years-old deals. The Trump administration once pursued that route to no avail.Chinese government probably against it Again, caution should be exercised in protests, as the core of the claim against the US is that TikTok operates independently.
“That’s part of the calculation, how aggressive would China want to be?” Lindsey Gorman, Senior Fellow in Emerging Technologies at the Alliance of the German Marshall Foundation to Secure Democracy. Gormany previously served as a senior adviser to the Biden administration.
If the US bans TikTok, the mechanics of what will happen from there will be ambiguous. Oracle that is cloud hosting service For all TikTok use with U.S. Internet Service Providers comcast (parent company of NBCUniversal) and verizon Direct traffic to end users.And the app store controlled by apple and Google The primary place consumers download the TikTok app.
Shannon ReevesA partner in Strock’s CFIUS compliance group.
“As a result of this review, no action will be taken from CFIUS against third parties that are not part of this transaction,” Reaves said. “So don’t let that happen to your Apple, Google, etc.”
Governments may need to resort to laws or executive orders to force app distributors, ISPs and cloud services to block access to TikTok.
While there will always likely be cracks that can be exploited by a subset of computer-savvy users, ordinary consumers will find it difficult to access government-banned services. Douglas SchmidtProfessor of Engineering at Vanderbilt University.
“Most of the time there is a way around this,” says Schmidt. “It’s much more difficult for the average person to do without an advanced degree in something like computer security.”
In other words, a VPN is not enough. One reason is that going that route will likely require app store credentials that point to the user’s location. NordVPN’s vice president, Gerald Kasulis, said the technology could also detect when a user is trying to access an app using his VPN.
Concerns about TikTok’s security risks boil down to two main issues. First, who has access to U.S. consumer information, and second, who can determine what information reaches U.S. users.Chinese law requires companies to Need to hand over inside information to the government for a supposed national security purpose.
TikTok is trying to reassure the U.S. government that U.S. user data is stored outside of China. The company has devised an elaborate plan known as Project Texas. This includes a review of the Code in the US and a separate board of directors for domestic subsidiaries whose members are reviewed by the US government.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said he plans to testify before a U.S. House committee next week. wall street journal Project Texas does something similar to a sale to resolve security concerns.
But the mood in Washington has not moved in TikTok’s favor, and legislators have lost the trust they may once have had in China and its motives. It resurfaced when it was spotted flying across vast swathes of the United States. shoot down a balloon last month.
When it comes to consumer technology, users have no idea what information is reaching the Chinese government. Also, the US government has a lot of work to do to clarify what will happen if the app is banned.
“It’s not easy to detach and disentangle all these apps, even for people researching things like this,” Gorman said. “As a society, we have not made a decision that the App Store, Apple App Store, or Google Play Store should restrict apps based on the amount of information they collect. We can’t, the government really needs to do something about it.”
While many users might think their casual use of social media would be of little interest to foreign governments, Schmidt said the data could be of surprising value to bad actors. says that there is
“Having information about your habits, interests, interactions, where you go and what you do can lead to phishing attacks to gain access to more information or extortion if you are doing your own thing. It could be used for things like, you might not want other people to know,” Schmidt said.
In contrast to China, which blocks access to all types of content, including most of the country’s major internet services, it’s unfamiliar territory for US businesses.
“Trying to police data access is very difficult, especially when there is suspicion that the people doing this have a reason to do it,” Schmidt said. is strongly encouraged to collect this information and use it for any kind of purpose.”
Watch: Uncertainty About TikTok’s Fate Sends Competitor Stocks Soaring