Security: India’s TikTok ban sets ‘incredibly important precedent’ worldwide –FCC Chief

*Brendan Carr, Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission, declares India has set an ‘incredibly important precedent’ by banning Chinese short-video app TikTok, stressing the app operates as a ‘sophisticated surveillance tool’ that poses a serious national security threat

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

India has set an important precedent by banning Chinese short-video app TikTok in 2020.

Brendan Carr, US Federal Communications Commission chief, stated this in an an exclusive interview with ETTech.

Carr stated that the country had set an “incredibly important precedent” by banning TikTok and is a ‘guide star’ for other countries.

ConsumerConnect learnt at least 20 of 50 American states have banned the app on state government devices, with the number set to increase in 2023.

According to the top FCC official, in view of the concerns over the Chinese short video app being a threat to “national security,” nothing short of a “blanket ban” — as imposed by India — will work.

Painting a ‘nightmare’ scenario

In an exclusive interview,  Carr also said, “banning TikTok is a natural next step in our efforts to secure communication networks.”

He maintained that TikTok operates as a sophisticated surveillance tool and that presents a serious national security threat.

All of the sensitive and non-public data is going to Beijing and could be used for blackmail, espionage, foreign influence campaigns and surveillance.

“That’s a nightmare scenario,” he added.

US crackdown on platform

The FCC Commissioner’s comments come amid an increasing crackdown on TikTok by the United States Government.

A bipartisan bill seeking an outright ban on the short video app, December 2022, was introduced in both houses of Congress by Senator Marco Rubio.

Carr said that at least 20 of the 50 American states have banned TikTok on state government devices with the number due to increase in 2023. Nebraska was the first state to issue a ban in 2020, he stated.

Several predominantly Republican-led states – including Texas, South Dakota and Virginia – have also banned the use of the Chinese app, Carr said.

How India bans about 300 Chinese apps

India banned TikTok, and almost 300 other Chinese apps in phases starting June 2020 over national security concerns.

TikTok had over 200 million users in India at the time and considered India as its biggest overseas market, report said.

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