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Trump Is Trying To Take Away Americans' Access to Popular Apps by Executive Order

Added 08-07-20 10:21:02am EST - “Plus: the latest unemployment numbers, Biden apologizes for comment on diversity, Ohio governor gets flip-flopping COVID-19 results, and more?” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Trump Is Trying To Take Away Americans' Access to Popular Apps by Executive Order”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

It's turning into a summer of terrible tech policy, imposed by stunningly clueless members of Congress and a digitally ignorant but executive-order-addicted president. In June, President Donald Trump issued a transparently political Order on Social Media, accusing Twitter of illegally censoring him by countering his dubious comments with more information. Now, Trump is targeting the video platform TikTok and other apps popular in America but owned by Chinese companies.

On Thursday, the White House announced that Trump had signed an executive order—to take effect in 45 days—banning U.S. companies from doing transactions with Bytedance, TikTok's parent company, and with Tencent, the Chinese company behind the popular chat app WeChat.

Tencent is also behind a lot of popular video games, including Fortnite and League of Legends. But the administration is making an exception for Tencent's gaming properties. A White House official told the Los Angeles Times that the Tencent ban only applied as far as WeChat is concerned.

If there's a concern about Tencent having data on U.S. users, why shouldn't the ban apply to games too? It would be incredibly unpopular but exempting them really just shows how arbitrary this all is https://t.co/d5AvmkjXua

The Trump administration has been hyping its hate for TikTok (and, now, WeChat) as a national security matter. That premise is incredibly thin.

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