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Cybersecurity expert weighs in on the possibility of a U.S. ban of TikTok


Anyone who has a Gen-Z person in their life is likely familiar with the popular social media app TikTok, but a new bill in the U.S. may soon take it off of the American market.

With so much singing, dancing, and lip syncing all in one app, TikTok seems fairly innocent, but the app has gained much scrutiny recently, raising a number of security concerns largely including their involvement with the Chinese government.

“The biggest concern is who is ultimately the owner and controller of a massive media platform where a lot of people get their news. Having that ultimately be in the control or influence of the Chinese Communist Party is a massive concern for the United States,” said Beauceron Security CEO, David Shipley in an interview Thursday.

A bill signed by the United States President, Joe Biden, will require the company’s Chinese owner to sell to an American, or the app will no longer be able to operate in the massive U.S. market.

Shipley adds the ban has gone farther than just being a partisan issue.

“There is a very real threat. Remember, this is the same United States where we’ve never seen more partisan, and across Republican to Democrat, everybody has gotten behind this. That tells you this is important, and real,” added Shipley.

“What the Americans are laying bare here is that you cannot trust what is going on with TikTok, and how they are influencing the minds of our most important next generation.”

Shipley says one of the largest worries for the government is TikTok’s access of information, and how they can control what is being seen.

“Remember that at the core of these social media platforms are the algorithms that control what you get to see, when, and what topics. And it’s in absolute interest of the Chinese state to have us at each other’s throats, to have us reacting to things,” he said.

“It’s not a coincidence that social media is at such a fever peak and we’re also seeing issues like anti-Semitism, issues like partisanship in politics, issues like lack of faith that democracy even works.”

Another worry Shipley brought up is how hard it is to regulate apps like TikTok.

“We have to take a more sophisticated route to regulation. It was easy, honestly, in the days of radio and television because we regulated the airways and we viewed the natural resource that was limited as the spectrum, we were able to apply really sane regulation around media ownership, concentration, values, ethical accountability, editorial accountability,” said Shipley.

As for whether Canada should also take steps to ban the app, Shipley said we have bigger issues on our plate.

“This isn’t a fight that we need to stick our nose into, per se, let the Americans lead it. But we should be paying attention to it,” said Shipley.

“The reality is, however, when it comes to national security, besides not sticking our face in the middle of this, we can’t even get our house in order on far more pressing and fundamental things like the foreign interference inquiry, and the abuse of our nomination process. If we can’t take that seriously, we’re not ready to play this game at all,” he said. Top Stories

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