Commentary: Big Tech Wants to Crush Your Entire World and Trap You in Virtual Hell

Woman wearing Apple Vision Pro goggles

Apple’s recent ad for a new, thinner iPad featured a hydraulic press smashing everything the new gadget could supposedly replace: paints, musical instruments, a clay bust, arcade cabinets, record players, books.

The new iPad promises a future in which humanity has forgotten the whisper of the brush over the canvas, the vibration of a guitar string, the joy of finding a note tucked into an old used book, and the easy camaraderie of children cheering each other on as they take turns at a challenging arcade game. The craftsmanship that went into these objects is now obsolete. You don’t have to go anywhere, touch anything.

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TikTok Sues U.S. Government over New Law Banning App

TikTok User

On Tuesday, the Chinese social media app TikTok and its parent company filed a lawsuit against the federal government of the United States over a new law threatening to ban the app if it is not sold to another company by next year.

ABC News reports that the lawsuit, filed by TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance, claims the new law is a violation of the First Amendment rights of TikTok’s users. The bill was signed into law by Joe Biden last month, with the TikTok ban being one provision of a larger $95 billion foreign aid package. The law requires ByteDance to sell TikTok within 9 months, or else the app will be banned from use in the United States.

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Biden Campaign Says It Will Stay on TikTok Despite Foreign Aid Package That Could Ban It

President Biden in front of TikTok logo (composite image)

Supporters of the legislation claim that the app poses a national security risk because it is owned by a Chinese company, and thereby could expose sensitive U.S. data to the Chinese government.

President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said on Wednesday that it still plans to stay on the controversial app TikTok, despite the president’s signing a foreign aid package that could eventually ban it in the United States.

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Fresh Revelations About TikTok Come as Senate Considers the Divestment Bill

TikTok app in front of Chinese flag

Pressure is mounting in Washington to finally pass a bill requiring TikTok’s China-based parent company to divest of the popular social media app amid new revelations that the company is much closer to the Chinese government than it has previously claimed.

Now, the House has passed a comprehensive foreign aid package which included a revised TikTok divestment bill. This makes it more likely to become law sooner rather than later as the Senate is set to consider the legislation.

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China Lobbying Congress amid TikTok Ban Efforts

iPhone with TikTok app logo

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been secretly attempting to lobby members of Congress over recent proposals to ban the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.

As reported by Breitbart, employees of the Chinese Embassy have been meeting with congressional staffers to try to persuade members to vote against the bill that would force the Chinese company ByteDance to sell TikTok, or else face an indefinite ban on the app’s use in the United States. The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in March with bipartisan support, and is now being reviewed by the Senate.

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States Focus on Squatting as TikToker Encourages Illegal Immigrants to ‘Invade’ Homes

Illegal immigrant being arrested

State and local officials are working to prevent property owners from having their residences taken over by squatters as a social media influencer from Venezuela encouraged illegal immigrants to “invade” homes in the U.S.

The issue of squatting has arisen in both Florida and Georgia, states fighting against squatting, while a New York City resident was arrested for trying to prevent a squatter from reentering her home. Squatting has become a concern with the influx of illegal immigrants as a Venezuelan national encouraged others to squat in Americans’ homes.

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Commentary: If H.R. 7521 Was Only About TikTok, the Bill Would Only Apply to TikTok

TikTok Social Media

“The TikTok bill gives Biden the power to ban websites & apps run by ‘a person subject to the direction or control of a foreign person or entity.’ Given that Biden routinely smears political opponents as being under the control of Putin, the danger should be obvious.”

That was entrepreneur David Sacks on X (formerly Twitter) on March 13 noting the fact that H.R. 7521, which has easily passed the House and is now on a fast track in the U.S Senate will give the President, right now it’s Joe Biden but also future presidents, can force divestiture of any website or application or else have it removed from hosting services if the President determines it is run by “a person subject to the direction or control of a foreign person or entity” including Russia, China, North Korea or Iran.

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Senate Intel Chair: ‘There May Need to be Certain Changes Made’ to House-Passed TikTok Bill

Senator Mark Warner

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expects the House-passed bill that could lead to a ban on TikTok in the U.S. might need to be amended in the Senate

Warner told reporters last week the changes could involve the timeline that it requires Bytedance to divest in the popular smartphone app.

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The Pentagon is Paying a Chinese Communist Party-Linked Venture Capital Firm for Tutoring Services

Chinese Students

The CEO of a Chinese venture capital firm that quietly bought up a U.S. education company holding a Pentagon contract has long-standing connections to multiple Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence units, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Primavera Capital, a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm, was an early investor in TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and owns Princeton Review and Tutor.com. However, a review of the firm’s Chinese-language website found that CEO and founder Fred Hu has extensive ties to the Chinese government and belonged to organizations that the U.S. government has identified as part of the CCP’s “United Front” system.

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Commentary: ADL’s Partisanship Harms the Fight Against Antisemitism

Jon Greenblatt

For over a century, the Anti-Defamation League has enjoyed a reputation as the preeminent Jewish organization combating antisemitism and all forms of hate. Its acronym, ADL, has “household name” status—and not just in Jewish homes. This makes its current penchant for partisanship extraordinarily dangerous for, and beyond, the Jewish community.

Last December, Senate Republicans learned that a Joe Biden nominee for a lifetime judicial appointment, Adeel Mangi, was previously a board member and generous supporter of the antisemitic Center for Security, Race and Rights at Rutgers University Law School.

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GOP-Led House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Force China Company Bytedance to Divest Stake in TikTok

A bill to require the Chinese company Bytedance to divest its stake in TikTok within 165 days or face a ban on the popular smartphone application in the U.S. passed on the House floor in a bipartisan vote on Wednesday.

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House Panel Unanimously Passes Bill to Ban TikTok in U.S., Final Vote as Early as Next Week

TikTok China

A GOP-led House committee has unanimously passed a bill that attempts to ban TikTok nationwide on all electronic devices.

The bill passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday and could get a final vote as early as next week, amid concerns about the China-based owner of the popular, short-form video platform giving user data to the Chinese Communist Party.

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Foreign-Owned Social Media Platforms Could Face New Florida Restrictions

People on Phones

Foreign-owned social media platforms such as TikTok could face a big change in the Sunshine State if a bill currently being advanced by the Florida Senate gets signed into law.

Senate Bill 1448 is sponsored by state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, and would add transparency for social media platforms operating in Florida that are owned by foreign adversaries.

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Tech Companies Plan to Combat Use of Fake AI in Elections

Facebook User

As the threat of fake images and videos generated by artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially play a role in the coming 2024 elections and beyond, several tech companies have pledged to use their resources to combat misinformation as a result of such technology.

According to Politico, multiple companies are planning to cooperate through a so-called “Tech Accord” dictating several key goals and methods that will be used in the fight against false AI. The companies intend to expose and debunk any “deepfake” images or videos produced by AI, through various tactics such as watermarks and automatic detection technology.

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Commentary: Ban TikTok or Let Beijing Control Our Broadcast Networks, Too

Tiktok User

In the dynamic landscape of global entertainment, the influence of Beijing over Hollywood has long been a topic of heated discussion. While the box office power of the Chinese market has waned, giving a breath of creative freedom back to our filmmakers, there looms a new and more pervasive form of influence on Hollywood and well beyond: TikTok.

Beijing may have lost theatrical market leverage, but it has more than made up for that with an overpowering social media presence that has become an epidemic, not just in Hollywood but throughout the United States. In fact, the Chairman of Congress’s Select Committee on China, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), accurately labels TikTok as “digital fentanyl” and has been aggressively campaigning to ban the social media app.

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TikTok is Still Sending American User Data to Chinese Parent Company: Report

TikTok continues to distribute data to its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance despite its purported efforts to protect American data, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

TikTok attempted to address concerns from lawmakers and public officials over its handling of Americans’ data by spending $1.5 billion on establishing an isolated unit to safeguard American data called Project Texas. However, managers within TikTok are telling employees to share data to ByteDance, bypassing authorized channels, according to current and previous employees as well as company records the WSJ saw.

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Turkish Smugglers Use Social Media to Help ‘Citizens of Every Country’ Reach the U.S. Border

Illegal Immigrants

Turkish smugglers appear to be using social media platforms to help migrants from across the globe enter the U.S. illegally through the southern border, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Telegram and TikTok posts.

The advertisements offer arrangements for travel, visas and transportation directly to the U.S.-Mexico border for migrants in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Border Patrol encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally have hit numerous records in recent years, with more than 2.2 million encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data.

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TikTok Data Reveals Content Favors CCP Goals, According to New Study

TikTok China

The popular video app TikTok seems to be promoting content to align with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) goals, a Thursday study found.

Hashtag data showed that content sensitive to the CCP is far less popular on TikTok than on its rival, Instagram, accordingto the study by Network Contagion Research Institute and Rutgers University. A comparison between Instagram and TikTok showed that the number of posts about non-sensitive hashtags in the realm of politics and pop-culture was fairly similar based on how many users each platform has, but the number of posts on hashtags for topics sensitive to the CCP was substantially higher on Instagram than on TikTok.

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Pew Research: Many Teens Use Social Media ‘Almost Constantly’

A new study from Pew Research Center reveals that 1 in 5 American teenagers are on social media websites “almost constantly.”

As reported by Axios, the Pew survey, an online poll with a sample size of 1,453 kids in the 13-17 age range, recorded a significant rise in social media use among that particular age group compared to a previous survey in 2014 and 2015.

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Federal Judge Blocks Montana’s TikTok Ban

Montana TikTok Ruling

A federal judge in Montana has blocked an upcoming state-wide ban on using the social media app TikTok, calling it unconstitutional. 

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said Thursday the ban on the app, whose ownership has ties to Communist-led China,  “oversteps state power and infringes on the Constitutional right of users and businesses.”

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Commentary: Flirtation with Evil Will Not End Well for the Progressive Left

Has the TikTok Left just jumped the shark?

Well, yes. Imagine seizing on Osama bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to the American People” as a revelation to justify your wounded adolescent narcissism and historical ignorance? This past week, a bunch of videos from the Chinese owned data-hoovering and propaganda-peddling app took the meme-world by storm by showering some love on the defunct Islamic terrorist and kicking America in the process.  Quoth one fragile female as she brushed her teeth: “Trying to go back to life as normal after reading Osama bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ and realizing everything we learned about the Middle East, 9/11, and ‘terrorism’ was a lie.” Another client of this new experiment in juvenile mind control bleated that the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks taught her that America was a “plague on the entire world.”

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Videos of People Sympathizing with Bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ Go Viral

Videos showing people reading Osama bin Laden’s 2002 letter justifying the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon went viral Wednesday evening, prompting a media outlet to delete its translation of the document.

The Guardian deleted the letter Wednesday after it had been active on the site since being published on Nov. 24, 2002, directing readers to an article from that date about the letter. Videos on the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok showed users reading the letter, Rolling Stone reported.

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CCP-Linked TikTok’s Personnel Can Allegedly Access Politicians’ Private Networks: Report

TikTok and its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance’s personnel can allegedly view the private connections of a vast array of politicians, Forbes reported on Wednesday.

TikTok has a social graph tool that reveals connections of individuals including members of President Joe Biden’s family, governors, senators and state attorneys general, Forbes reported. Other social media companies have access to similar data but TikTok has fewer barriers for employees to view it and more personal information available for them to draw from, according to individuals who have worked for multiple tech firms who spoke to Forbes.

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Second GOP Presidential Debate Turns Into a Rhetorical Brawl as Candidates Jockey for Position in Trump-Dominated Race

In a second GOP presidential debate that often seemed more like a disorderly reality TV show, the Babylon Bee’s satirical news headline may have best captured the mood of viewers: ‘Mute Button’ Wins GOP Debate.

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TikTok Employees Raise Concern over CCP Influence as China Execs Move In

Some employees at the popular social media platform TikTok are concerned about the influence the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has on the company as executives from its parent, ByteDance, take on new positions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A number of high-level executives from ByteDance in China have taken on new roles at TikTok’s U.S. operation, with employees complaining internally that there may be greater CCP influence than what is being publicly disclosed, according to the WSJ. The China-based ByteDance is subject to CCP regulation and can be pressured by the government to hand over information that the company has collected, which has in the past raised concerns over whether American users of the app are having their data collected by the foreign government.

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Meta’s Epidemic of Chinese ‘Spamouflage’ Propaganda

Meta recently took “what appears to be the largest known cross-platform covert influence operation in the world,” off its platforms, according to the company’s quarterly Adversarial Threat Report released this week.’

The social media accounts that made up the covert influence operation — collectively dubbed “Spamouflage” — were active all over the world, including in America, major U.S. allies, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora.

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TikTok’s CCP-Linked Parent Company Is Trying to Break into a Whole New Industry

ByteDance, the CCP-linked parent company of popular shortform video platform TikTok, is trying to enter the book publishing industry, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The company filed in late April for a U.S. trademark for a publishing firm, 8th Note Press, and has already begun reaching out to some independent authors for the rights to sell their books, the NYT reported. TikTok has helped some books become bestsellers in the past several years, posts using the #Booktok hashtag have been viewed more than 91 billion times and the combined sales of 100 authors with large BookTok followings eclipsed $760 million in 2022, a 60% surge from the year prior.

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Today’s Youth List TikTok, Instagram Influencers as Most Trusted Sources of News

A new report reveals that the youngest generations of today are more likely to trust news they receive from social media influencers rather than from actual news outlets and reporters.

As Fox News reports, the study was conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism out of the University of Oxford. The survey found that 55 percent of TikTok users get their news from “personalities” on the platform, with another 52 percent of respondents saying the same thing for Instagram influencers.

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Commentary: Combating the Censorship Industrial Complex

It’s been nearly six months since the first installment of the Twitter Files — the journalistic effort by Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, Bari Weiss, Lee Fang, and many others to expose the myriad channels by which the U.S government cooperated with Twitter on content moderation and censorship — was first published. Twitter Files One, perhaps the mildest of more than 20 unique reports, details the social media company’s internal deliberations in the days before the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was removed from the site. Later reports have exposed the tendrils of a governmental apparatus that influenced some of the most significant media distortions in recent American history, from the fraudulent Hamilton 68 misinformation tracking dashboard to the FBI’s intimate involvement with Twitter’s content-moderation practices.

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TikTok Sues Montana over Total Statewide Ban

Chinese social media platform TikTok on Monday filed suit against a Montana law barring the platform from operating within the state and forbidding app marketplaces from offering it for download.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts,” the company wrote in a complaint filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, per Politico.

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Montana Becomes the First State to Completely Ban TikTok

Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill Wednesday that bans TikTok from the state, becoming the first one to completely outlaw the social media app.

The Montana Legislature introduced Senate Bill 419 in late February to respond to the increasing national concerns over TikTok’s ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the fear the app could be used to steal sensitive information, according to the measure. SB419, sponsored by Montana Republican state Sen. Shelley Vance, passed the Legislature in April.

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TikTok’s Parent Company Allegedly Tracks Conversations About COVID-19 Lab Leak Theory: Report

Popular social media app TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance might be tracking online conversations about the COVID-19 lab leak theory, according to documents obtained by Forbes.

A ByteDance tool controlled by Chinese personnel monitors the use of “sensitive words” across company platforms, according to a Forbes investigation. Forbes accessed hundreds of ByteDance’s word lists and published them; they contain various categories including “science and medicine,” which is largely about China and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TikTok Continues Censorship of Think Tank’s Account Promoting Anti-CCP Documentary

TikTok continued to target a think tank criticizing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Thursday after removing and then reinstating posts without any explanation.

Acton Institute, an independent think tank that advocates for individual and religious liberty, was informed Tuesday that their account had been suspended but was given no reason for the decision. After Acton filed a complaint, TikTok reinstated the account but removed two videos promoting a documentary criticizing the CCP until they were also reinstated Thursday.

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Montana Lawmakers Vote to Ban TikTok Statewide

Montana lawmakers on Friday passed legislation to ban TikTok within the start and block downloads of the app entirely, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.

Both the federal government and numerous states have already barred the social media platform’s use on official devices, but those bans have stopped shy of outright forbidding the app on personal devices.

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Call to Ban TikTok on Personal Phones Gaining Momentum

About 30 states have placed restrictions on the social media app TikTok mostly related to government devices, but there is momentum for a larger ban on personal devices.

A growing number of lawmakers in the U.S. have raised national security concerns about the short-form video app because of TikTok’s ties to China through its parent company ByteDance.

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Hundreds of Former Federal Surveillance Officials Have Moved to Jobs in Big Tech

Over 200 former employees of federal surveillance agencies have since joined the corporate ranks of Big Tech companies in recent years, thus increasing the likelihood of systematic censorship of conservative accounts by such platforms.

According to the Daily Caller, the four social media companies Google, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok have recruited 248 former employees from the FBI, CIA, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as proven by searches of the professional job listing and networking platform LinkedIn. The bulk of these hires were made between 2017 and 2022, with some of the former federal employees moving on to top executive positions within the social media companies.

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Commentary: Careful, The RESTRICT Act Could be Used to Censor Any Website in America, Not Just TikTok

S.686, the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act or the appropriately titled “RESTRICT Act” could be used to censor any website in America, not just TikTok.

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Commentary: Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst Says Time Is Up for TikTok

Make no mistake about it, TikTok is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda machine living rent-free on the devices of 150 million Americans, and it’s putting our national security in jeopardy. This insidious app collects your data, surveils behavior, monitors user habits, and negatively influences our youth with an endless stream of addictive content.

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TikTok Not the Only China-Controlled App Thriving in America: Report

The top four downloaded applications in the past 30 days in the U.S. Apple App Store and Google Play Store are owned by Chinese-tied companies, according to data from Apptopia analyzed by Axios.

While these Chinese-tied apps are thriving in the U.S., American apps are typically not permitted to operate in China due to the country’s strict censorship, according to Axios. China has over one billion internet users according to Statista, so the U.S. is missing out on a massive market while China has exclusive access to it.

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TikTok CEO Dodges on Whether Company Will Cease ‘Spying’ on Americans

TikTok CEO Shou Chew dodged questions Thursday about whether tactics by parent company ByteDance used to “spy” on American journalists could be used to target more Americans.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington questioned Chew on reporting by Forbes that staff at ByteDance used TikTok data last year to surveil journalists who were covering the company, gaining access to their IP addresses to track whether they had been in proximity to ByteDance employees.

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TikTok Tracking Code Has Infected Many State Government Websites: Report

Tracking code created by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance Ltd. has been discovered in 30 state government websites, Feroot Security says, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This type tracking code, or “pixel” is commonly placed by website administrators to track the results of advertising on TikTok, the outlet reported. Using data gathered in January and February, Feroot Security revealed such pixels in 30 websites maintained by 27 states, some of which have banned TikTok from their government networks and devices.

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FBI, DOJ Investigating TikTok Parent over Surveillance of Americans: Report

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating Chinese company ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, for surveilling Americans, according to Forbes.

The DOJ Fraud Section and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia subpoenaed information from the company about its employees’ efforts to access the location and other private information of American journalists through TikTok, Forbes reported, citing an anonymous source. The FBI is conducting interviews on the same subject.

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Tennessee AG Skrmetti Leads 46 States to Demand China-Based TikTok Comply with Multistate Investigation

Forty-six attorneys general joined Tennessee in requesting that a state court force TikTok to comply with an ongoing multistate investigation into the platform’s impact on children.

Following TikTok’s failure to comply with a Request for Information (RFI) last week, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed a motion Monday to require the Chinese-owned social media company to preserve documents and internal messages, his office announced. Colorado and 45 other states also filed an amicus brief Monday in support of Skrmetti’s motion, arguing that TikTok’s failure to respond impedes “the State’s ability to protect their citizens.”

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Federal Agencies Must Ban Chinese-Owned TikTok, White House Memo Says

Government agencies have less than a month to ban the popular Chinese-owned app TikTok from federal devices, according to an Office of Management and Budget memorandum issued Monday.

OMB Director Shalanda Young issued the memorandum for executive departments and agency heads about implementation guidance for banning TikTok on government-issued devices, Reuters first reported.

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European Union Commission Suspends TikTok Use on Work Devices

The European Union Commission on Thursday suspended the use of TikTok on work devices and EU employees’ personal devices that are used for work.

“This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission,” the agency said.

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Lawmakers Re-introduce Bill to Ban TikTok in the United States

TikTok’s days in the United States could be numbered under a bipartisan bill re-introduced by the heads of congress’ new Committee on China. 

Reps Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08) on Friday submitted the legislation, which would ban the controversial video-sharing app from operating in the United States. 

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