Last week, CTT cofounder Roslyn Layton appeared on a SiriusXM radio show to discuss President Trump’s executive orders on TikTok and WeChat. Layton emphasized the importance the orders will have for national security and online privacy in America, as companies in China must feed their customer data into the government’s “social credit system,” a form of social control through reputation scoring. These apps’ collection of extensive, sensitive user data (particularly TikTok among US children and youth) and the potential exposure to the Chinese government has prompted strong action by the administration. Australia, India, and other countries have already restricted these apps.
WeChat has limited usage in the US but facilitates communication by Chinese in the US with mainland China. It is unencrypted, easily accessed by the Chinese government, and censors content per guidelines by the Chinese government. Layton stressed that these apps if governed by American values of freedom of expression and privacy “will likely do better.”
American law requires that the President to protect the people of the United States from foreign threats and aggression. Building on bipartisan outrage in which the Executive Branch allowed the Chinese government owned-Lenovo to acquire strategic information technology from the US in 2014, Congress adopted the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). See ChinaTechThreat’s report co-authored by Congressman Robert Pittenger, co-sponsor of this historic legislation. This Act requires the Executive Brand to screen foreign direct investment for its impacts to privacy and cybersecurity. The Executive Orders on TikTok and WeChat are the correct response to a situation that was long recognized as putting Americans’ safety, security, and privacy at risk.
Link to full interview: https://soundcloud.com/breitbart/breitbart-news-tonight-roslyn-layton-august-7-2020