Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman: For TikTok, Romania's leaders are jeopardizing the relationship with the US
Data actualizării:
Data publicării:
Autor: Adrian Zuckerman
Adrian Zuckerman, the former ambassador of the United States to Romania, wrote an editorial for DCNews. His Excellency, Ambassador Zuckerman, warned the authorities in our country that they are endangering Romania's relationship with the USA if they do not respect their cyber security commitments.

A few days ago on Wednesday January 17 the vice president of ANCOM, Pavel Popescu, said that Tik Tok posed a problem to Romanian and European national security and should be banned. This was the same recommendation that was made earlier in 2023 by the Romanian security services and the COSC, the council for cyber security. In response, the Chinese embassy and Tik Tok requested an emergency meeting with the Romanian government. 

Romania has failed to implement these national security recommendations. Popescu attributes this to lack of political will and courage.  He is correct, if not worse. In August of 2023, the Romanian government through its supreme defense council, CSAT, approved Lenovo, a Communist Chinese company to participate in the process to build out the 5G infrastructure. All Communist Chinese company participation in 5G infrastructure was previously banned by a law passed in 2021 by Romania and most other European countries. CSAT explained giving Lenovo an exception by claiming that Lenovo’s parent company is incorporated in Hong Kong, therefore subject to its separate and independent set of laws, not the Communist Chinese laws, and there is nothing to worry about. CSAT’s  explanation was ridiculed in the press as being demonstrably untrue and grossly ignorant of reality. The reality is that Lenovo is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which has access to all of its information. Lenovo’s permission to participate in Romania’s 5G infrastructure buildout has still not been rescinded despite promises to do so and international criticism, especially from Romania’s closest ally, the United States.

It makes sense therefore that the Communist Chinese and Tik Tok would appeal to the Romanian government to shut down Popescu and ANCOM. 

NATO and the US view Romania and Poland as its two closest allies defending Europe’s eastern flank. The Romanian government should remember this and start acting accordingly. Romania can not in any way jeopardize its own, or its allies, national security by allowing any advantage to the Communist Chinese and its axis of evil with Russia and Iran. 

Tik Tok is a subsidiary of ByteDance.  TikTok, updated its EU privacy policy in November 2022 to confirm that its staff in China have access to user data outside China to perform “important functions.” TikTok’s software engineering personnel report to ByteDance leadership in China.  Any ByteDance data that is viewed, stored, or that passes through China is subject to the laws of China. China’s court system reports to and falls under the Communist Chinese Party. China’s 2017 National Security Law, National Intelligence Law, and Data Security Law require citizens to hand over data at the government’s order.  This includes data from other countries which is made available to employees in China through ByteDance applications and their interaction with software on all connected devices.  From a security standpoint, this means that TikTok provides the Communist Chinese Party with the ability to weaponize the platform by suppressing, magnifying, and otherwise constructing narratives to target specific audiences abroad.  

TikTok is controlled by the Communist Chinese government from a legal, structural, governance, and leadership perspective. Its 1% “golden share” stake even guarantees TikTok’s algorithm is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok is bound by China’s National Intelligence Law which requires every Chinese company and citizen to turn over any data or information to the Chinese government upon request and or suffer the consequences. No matter how strenuously TikTok’s management and leadership may deny this, it has no choice in the matter. There is a broad consensus among free world national security professionals that the Chinese Communist Party presents the biggest threat to freedom and democracy.  TikTok is a powerful weapon of the Chinese Communist Party and serves its strategic objectives. 

TikTok is programmed to be weaponized. It tracks users’ keystrokes to capture personal data, such as credit card information, banking and medical records, drivers license, passwords, and location. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party has used TikTok to track reporters in attempts to intimidate them. 

Not surprisingly, TikTok is not available in China. Instead, the algorithm there is used for children’s STEM education. Tik Tok is a peril to everybody you digitally interact with—your friends, family, business associates, everyone in your life. TikTok is like a weaponized digital virus. The TikTok Virus can infect everybody around you. The only vaccine is a total ban. China uses TikTok as a powerful propaganda tool to sow discontent and limit freedom of speech. Just try posting something on Tiananmen Square massacre or democracy in Taiwan. 

TikTok is banned outright in India. It’s banned on government devices in Canada, the EU, the UK, Norway, New Zealand, and Belgium. Tik Tok’s suggested new security measures can not work as long as the Communist Chinese Party has an ownership interest in it and Communist Chinese law requires that all Chinese corporations share their information with the Communist Chinese government. 

The U.S. continues to be Romania’s best friend, closest ally and partner on their path to a prosperous and democratic future.  Romania’s leaders claim they fully recognize and embrace this relationship. However, they jeopardize the relationship by accommodating Communist Chinese interests that imperil both countries national security.

Google News icon  Fiți la curent cu ultimele noutăți. Urmăriți DCNews și pe Google News

Iti place noua modalitate de votare pe