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Is PH banning TikTok soon?

A House bill has been filed that wants to regulate “foreign adversary-controlled” apps.
Is PH banning TikTok soon?
File photo: TikTok app

Security concerns on TikTok?

As reported by GMA News, House Deputy Majority Leader Bienvenido Abante filed House Bill 10489 that seeks to ban “foreign adversary-controlled” like TikTok in the country.

The proposed measures define a foreign adversary-controlled application as a website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application that is operated, directly or indirectly (including through a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate), by a covered company that is (1) is controlled by a foreign adversary, and (2) that is determined by the President to present a significant threat to the national security of the Philippines.

Under the bill, app stores and internet hosting services will be prohibited from allowing the distribution, maintenance, or updating of such applications.

The president will be authorized to identify countries that are foreign adversaries of the Philippines, but the same measure also defines a foreign adversary country as any country identified by the chief executive as "having interests adversarial to that of the Philippines, in terms of threats to national security and our territorial integrity."

With the rising tension between China and the Philippines, the government must take positive preemptive action to ensure that we protect our citizens from manipulation and misinformation campaigns using social media––from any foreign adversary country, Abante said.

If it is approved, the ban will cover TikTok which currently has 49.9 million users in the Philippines, the lawmaker said.

TikTok’s parent company is ByteDance, which Abante says "reveals a connection to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese government that cannot be overlooked."

Abante noted the bill only seeks to regulate. Furthermore, the provisions of the proposed measure focus on national security threats and an application’s ownership by a foreign adversary, he said.

The lawmaker said he proposed the measure to push the country to be “watchful of foreign adversary countries infiltrating our communication infrastructure and making a mockery of our cybersecurity and intelligence.”

Abante said TikTok collects personal data from its users that it can easily send to the Chinese government.

We need to take preemptive action to prevent the clear and present danger of foreign adversary-controlled companies operating in the Philippines with the purpose and capability of harvesting data from unsuspecting subscribers, he said.

The bill was filed on May 23. Currently, it is pending first reading.

In the US, there are lawmakers also pushing to ban the app in the country due to security concerns.

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