President Biden on Wednesday repealed a Trump-era executive order banning popular TikTok and WeChat apps and replaced it with a call for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled apps that could pose a security risk. of Americans and their data.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, administration officials said the Trump-era order had not been “carried out in the best way” and that the new directive would establish “clear, understandable criteria” for assessing national security risks posed by related software. applications of foreign governments, especially China.
On Wednesday, administration officials said that the review of TikTok by the United States Foreign Investment Committee, the body that reviews the national security implications of foreign investment in US companies, is still ongoing and separate from the order.
Mr Biden’s order “will force the Minister of Commerce to use a criteria-based decision-making framework and a rigorous, evidence-based analysis to assess and address risks” generated by foreign applications, according to a note released by the Ministry of Commerce. and received from The New York Times. “As justified, the Secretary will determine appropriate action based on an in-depth review of the risks posed by software applications related to a foreign enemy.”
TikTok declined to comment Wednesday morning.
Mr Biden’s order was intended to extend an order issued in 2019 by the Trump administration that banned US telecoms companies from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security. This order did not specify specific companies, nor the one issued by Mr Biden on Wednesday. The new directive also does not mention the specific responses that could be taken if an application is found to pose a threat to national security.
On Wednesday, administration officials will not go into detail about the future of TikTok’s availability to U.S. consumers or say whether the United States government will seek to force ByteDance to transfer U.S. user data to a U.S.-based company. Against the backdrop of a number of successful legal challenges undertaken by ByteDance, a data transfer deal to Oracle failed this year shortly after Mr Biden took office.