11 votes

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirms TikTok is under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US following national security concerns

18 comments

  1. [13]
    moocow1452
    Link
    On one hand, China probably is mining everything from this platform that they can. On the other, should the US be the one making this call as opposed to the platform makers? (On a third hand, how...

    On one hand, China probably is mining everything from this platform that they can. On the other, should the US be the one making this call as opposed to the platform makers? (On a third hand, how much of this is Trump being a petty pants over the Tulsa rally bust?)

    7 votes
    1. [6]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I want to know what data TikTok is mining that could possibly make it more of a concern than the data Facebook and Google mine from their users. This reeks of "bad behavior is only wrong when the...

      I want to know what data TikTok is mining that could possibly make it more of a concern than the data Facebook and Google mine from their users. This reeks of "bad behavior is only wrong when the people doing it aren't American".

      I'm all for regulating what data TikTok can gather, but the same rules need to be imposed on all platforms, not just the foreign one.

      12 votes
      1. [5]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        There's somebody on reddit who claims to have analyzed it, going as far as to compare the data they do transmit. A major concern with this is that it could lead to large-scale intelligence...

        There's somebody on reddit who claims to have analyzed it, going as far as to compare the data they do transmit. A major concern with this is that it could lead to large-scale intelligence gathering about all sorts of mundane things about a country that are harder to quantify. It then becomes more easy to launch a large-scale disinformation campaign across the country, like Russia did to the US in the run up to the 2016 election, or what Camebridge Analytica has done. Their scandal was about collecting data for voter manipulation purposes, but it somehow wasn't an issue until they did it on a major world player.

        The politics of the countries are radically different as well. Facebook may have a bunch of my information, but they can actually resist federal requests for my data. They may not be able to defend them every time if I did something bad enough, but they aren't required to turn anything over without a warrant. In China, if you own a company, China, in effect, owns it. Resistance via legal means is not an option.

        Further, there are projects like PRISM that exist as large-scale exercises of data collection, but the data is also shared between countries. This isn't to say it's a good thing, but it's not being collected to potentially put one country against another, and can be shared on request, if doing so doesn't violate that country's laws.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          est
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I discussed the params they collect on HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23686320 tl;dr identifying real users from bots is hard.

          going as far as to compare the data they do transmit

          I discussed the params they collect on HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23686320

          tl;dr identifying real users from bots is hard.

          4 votes
          1. arp242
            Link Parent
            Or, tl;dr: spammers are assholes who ruin everything.

            tl;dr identify real users from bots is hard.

            Or, tl;dr: spammers are assholes who ruin everything.

            1 vote
          2. [2]
            knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            So, rather than using cookies, or some other software source, they're just using hardware fingerprints? Pretty fascinating. Obviously, I still buy into the larger issues of a social media platform...

            So, rather than using cookies, or some other software source, they're just using hardware fingerprints? Pretty fascinating.

            Obviously, I still buy into the larger issues of a social media platform collecting information it doesn't need, but can totally understand collecting hardware/fingerprinting information.

            1. est
              Link Parent
              Cookies can't verify if a user is real person or a bot. A real user can register thousands of accounts and then spam the API calls to manipulate "likes". So extra information had to be gathered.

              cookies, or some other software source

              Cookies can't verify if a user is real person or a bot. A real user can register thousands of accounts and then spam the API calls to manipulate "likes". So extra information had to be gathered.

    2. [3]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Considering it's a national security concern? Yes, I'd say so. I wouldn't want Apple or Google to decide whether apps suspected of data-mining are acceptable, not the least because their...

      as opposed to the platform makers

      Considering it's a national security concern? Yes, I'd say so. I wouldn't want Apple or Google to decide whether apps suspected of data-mining are acceptable, not the least because their judgements have been at times opaque.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        It seems like national security decisions made by governments are pretty opaque too. I'm wondering what sort of decision-making wouldn't be opaque? Maybe if there were a law and it were decided by...

        It seems like national security decisions made by governments are pretty opaque too.

        I'm wondering what sort of decision-making wouldn't be opaque? Maybe if there were a law and it were decided by the courts, but that brings in all the downsides of high-stakes court cases.

        5 votes
        1. ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          As long as this is the point we're discussing: I'd rather trust my doctor with medical decisions than a supplement seller.

          It seems like national security decisions made by governments are pretty opaque too.

          As long as this is the point we're discussing:

          I'd rather trust my doctor with medical decisions than a supplement seller.

          6 votes
    3. Loire
      Link Parent
      As much as we know that anytime the Trump administration does something good it's completely incidental, I am not going to second guess those things because of that fact. A foreign government that...

      As much as we know that anytime the Trump administration does something good it's completely incidental, I am not going to second guess those things because of that fact.

      A foreign government that ready has instituted an incredibly wide ranging "social credit system" should not have access to the data that tiktok provides.

      5 votes
    4. [2]
      Bullmaestro
      Link Parent
      Yes, because I'm pretty sure Apple and Google are in cahoots with China. If there's one silver lining to Trump's presidency, it's that he's getting tough on China in a way that big tech otherwise...

      Yes, because I'm pretty sure Apple and Google are in cahoots with China. If there's one silver lining to Trump's presidency, it's that he's getting tough on China in a way that big tech otherwise won't.

      Somehow I doubt Biden would do the same.

      2 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        "In cahoots" seems like the wrong way to put it. These companies may cooperate sometimes to manufacture and sell stuff in China, but I very much doubt that they trust the Chinese government any...

        "In cahoots" seems like the wrong way to put it. These companies may cooperate sometimes to manufacture and sell stuff in China, but I very much doubt that they trust the Chinese government any more than they have to. The Chinese government doesn't much like foreign technology firms either.

        Google in particular has had previous bad experience with both China hacking and NSA espionage. They have some of the best security people in the business, with a mission to keep everyone out. Though, there is not much to be done about national security letters other than make sure they're valid and publish "transparency reports."

        10 votes
  2. [2]
    moocow1452
    Link
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/510100-trump-says-he-will-ban-tiktok-from-operating-in-the-us Something is happening.
    2 votes
  3. [3]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    I'm not well informed in this in any level but doesn't Trump-Russia kinda make this an empty gesture?

    I'm not well informed in this in any level but doesn't Trump-Russia kinda make this an empty gesture?

    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      2020 will end, eventually. It's probably worth thinking about what happens after Trump leaves office.

      2020 will end, eventually. It's probably worth thinking about what happens after Trump leaves office.

      2 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure why you're so timid about this. It's therapeutic to think about what happens when he leaves office.

        It's probably worth thinking about what happens after Trump leaves office.

        I'm not sure why you're so timid about this. It's therapeutic to think about what happens when he leaves office.

        1 vote