The Biden administration on Wednesday dropped former President Donald Trump’s orders that had attempted to ban social media apps TikTok and WeChat over security risks due to their connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), saying the administration will conduct its own review of apps with ties to the Chinese regime.
Article by Jack Phillips from our partners at The Epoch Times.
An executive order signed by President Joe Biden directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to “evaluate these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and should address any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives, including the preservation and demonstration of America’s core values and fundamental freedoms.”
The Commerce Department, according to the White House, will now be required to review TikTok, WeChat, and other apps that are developed, designed, controlled, or manufactured by entities linked to the CCP. The order noted that such apps “may present an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the American people.”
Trump’s executive actions targeting ByteDance, a Beijing-based firm that owns TikTok, and WeChat, which is owned by the Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, were blocked by several federal court orders. Trump had also attempted to force the sale of TikTok.
TikTok sought relief via the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a review of Trump’s divestment order and the federal government’s order to conduct a national security review.
Unnamed Biden administration officials told the Wall Street Journal that the latest executive order is designed to replace Trump’s orders with a more comprehensive process targeting apps that may have connections to foreign adversaries, including the CCP. The Epoch Times has contacted the Commerce Department for comment.
The Trump administration order that impacted TikTok and ByteDance, which has also contributed funds to Facebook “fact-checking” website LeadStores, prohibited “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” among other restrictions.
Last year, cybersecurity experts warned that TikTok is being used by the Chinese regime to spy on Americans. Critics have also warned that users’ content could be censored if the CCP deems it politically sensitive—even if that user lives outside of China.
Casey Fleming, CEO of intelligence and security strategy firm BlackOps Partners, told The Epoch Times that “all technology coming out of China—either manufactured in China, created in China—is controlled by the CCP.”
And Mark Grabowski, an associate professor specializing in cyber law and digital ethics at Adelphi University, told The Epoch Times that TikTok is merely “Chinese government malware masquerading as a social media app.”
“The app collects way more data than it needs to,” Grabowski said in an email last year. “For example, it’s odd that TikTok does GPS [Global Positioning System] tracking since TikTok videos don’t display location information.”
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.