The Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States, Brendan Carr lauded India’s move to ban TikTok in 2020. India set an “incredibly important precedent” by banning the Chinese giant Bytedance app, he said while speaking to the Economics Times. FCC Commissioner further warned that TikTok “operates as a sophisticated surveillance tool,” adding that banning the short video app is a “natural next step” to secure their own communication networks in the US.
Carr said he is worried that China could use sensitive and non-public data gleaned from TikTok to “blackmail, espionage, foreign influence campaigns, and surveillance.” He further added, “we need to follow India’s lead more broadly to weed out other nefarious apps as well.” The FCC is an independent US government agency that looks after communications law, regulation, and technological innovation.
“India’s strong leadership has been informative and helpful as we have debated banning TikTok in the US,” said Carr adding “for those who argue that there is no way to ban an app, India is an example of a country that has done it and done it successfully.”
India banned hundreds of Chinese apps two years ago stating that these apps posed threats to the “national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India.” Prior to the ban, India was TikTok’s largest market with over 200 million monthly active users.
Recently, TikTok was banned on all House-managed devices in the US. The government argued that it poses a “high risk due to a number of security issues.” Following this, nearly two dozen states at least partially blocked the app from state-managed devices.