TikTok under the eye of Canadian intelligence services
TikTok app would be linked to security threats, according to Canadian intelligence services.
Canada's electronic spy agency is monitoring security threats from TikTok, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday of the popular Chinese-owned app.
Responding to questions from reporters during a scrum on Parliament Hill, Trudeau said the Communications Security Establishment, Canada's electronic intelligence agency, has an eye on TikTok, as Republican lawmakers in the United States seek to ban the app from their territory.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday announced a plan to bipartisan law to ban TikTok from Uncle Sam.
The app has over a billion users worldwide.
This bill responds to growing concerns in the United States that ByteDance Ltd., owner of TikTok, may be using the app to spy on or censor Americans.
The Marco Rubio's proposed legislation would block all transactions by any social media company in China and Russia, or under the influence of those countries, the senator's office said in a statement.
This would be an extension of existing US laws restricting access to TikTok.
In August 2020, the US Senate unanimously approved a bill prohibiting federal employees from using the app on government-issued devices.
A TikTok spokesperson said the company's security plans in the United States were developed under the supervision of key U.S. national security agencies.
“It is troubling that instead of encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically motivated ban that will do nothing to enhance the national security of the United States.
— Excerpt from an email sent by TikTok
In that post, the spokesperson added that TikTok has never provided Canadian user data to the Chinese government and would not if asked. Canadian user data is stored in data centers in the United States and Singapore, the spokesperson added.
NDP Ethics Critic Matthew Green said in an email to CBC that the party believes Canada has fallen behind its European counterparts when it comes to data protection. He did not call for a ban on installing TikTok on federal employee devices.
“While New Democrats do not believe a ban on TikTok should be rejected out of hand, the government must first adopt measures to develop better regulation and work side by side with our allies on data protection.
—Matthew Green, NDP Ethics Critic
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has nearly 900,000 followers on TikTok and regularly uses the platform.
Mr. Trudeau also said the government is monitoring what Americans are doing about US social media giant Twitter, which has come under intense scrutiny since billionaire Elon Musk completed his purchase of the company. in October.
With information from CBC News