TikTok and WeChat downloads to be blocked in the U.S. from Sunday
The U.S. government is out to protect its citizens from China's totalitarian state by...controlling what they download on their phones.
In a move that pretty much everyone saw coming, it looks like the U.S. Commerce Department is planning to issue an order that will prevent people in the U.S. from downloading WeChat and TikTok from Sunday, Sep 20.
According to a Reuters report, app stores -- including Apple and Google -- will be barred from offering the app on any platform “that can be reached from within the United States”. Current U.S. users will still be able to use the apps, but software updates will not be available. The move would also block mobile funds transactions within the U.S. on WeChat.
As it stands, TikTok has around 100 million users in the U.S, while WeChat has around 19 million daily active users. Right now, they're all waiting for one person to tell them whether or not they are allowed to continue.
It was announced earlier this week that Oracle -- the company at the heart of the modern surveillance state in the U.S. -- had been chosen by ByteDance to become the United States's "privacy shield" after President Trump had threatened a U.S. ban. But this deal is not a full sale, and would just allow Oracle to become a "trusted technology provider" for ByteDance. More importantly, has yet to receive Trump's approval.
Trump originally demanded that a full sale of TikTok to a U.S. business was required -- and it looks like this might be his way of trying to force that through.
In a statement today, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said “we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”
I guess it looks like only America will be allowed to maliciously collect Amercian citizens' personal data from now on.
According to the officials, this ban can still be rescinded by Trump before it takes effect on Sunday. But let's be real, literally anything could happen between now and then.
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