The US government vs. TikTok was all about control

TikTok may give up power to avoid ban

Together with

The Future. To avoid an outright ban or a sale to an American company, the US government has proposed that ByteDance agree to stringent rules on how TikTok can operate in the States and what elements of the company the government can oversee. The draft of the deal is thorough and extensive. While TikTok may have grounds to push back, recent revelations of ByteDance execs spying on journalists and tracking American users’ movements may make compromise hard to come by.

Algorithm allegiance
Forbes breaks down what a potential deal between ByteDance and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) would look like.

  • CFIUS asked TikTok’s US arm to allow surprise examinations of its facilities, servers, and records, require US approval to change its terms of service, independently pay for security audits, and even temporarily turn off the platform in the US.
  • It would also allow a number of third-party monitors in everything from cybersecurity to source code, while barring ByteDance execs from being involved in security-related decisions (it would instead be carried out by a secret committee).

Experts say the deal, which is a draft from 2022, is the most extensive one they’ve seen from CFIUS and would give the US government far more control over TikTok’s US operations than that of domestic platforms like Facebook or X… despite most of TikTok’s US data already being housed on Oracle servers, per a previous deal.

But with a bipartisan push to reign in the Chinese company’s access to the data of and influence over 150 million Americans who spend an average of 90 minutes on the platform per day, there may be little pushback on those proposed powers.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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