The Biden administration has revoked executive orders signed by former President Donald Trump for Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat applications, and issued a new order intensifying the scrutiny of Chinese applications and software that they could threaten Americans ’data.
The order signed Wednesday by President Joe Biden is the latest move to address what Washington sees as the growing security risk from China. He ordered his administration to establish a process to determine which apps and software from foreign adversaries, such as China, threatened U.S. national security.
The order establishes a mechanism for conducting a “rigorous, evidence-based analysis” to assess the risks posed by software “conceived, developed, manufactured, or provided by persons who are owned or controlled by, or subject to. jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including… China “.
The move exceeds three order by Trump who banned Americans from using the short video application TikTok and the WeChat messaging platform. These prohibitions had effectively become debatable because of lawsuits in court challenging their basis. The Biden administration hopes the new executive order will establish a more rigorous framework that will place any future bans on a much more solid legal level.
The order also expands the scope of Trump-era measures by ordering the Commerce Department to determine whether Americans ’health and genetic data was in jeopardy by software produced by U.S. opponents. The Biden administration said China sought to “exploit American digital technologies and data in ways that present unacceptable risks to national security while advancing authoritarian controls and interests.”
The Biden administration has recently taken several measures to reduce the national security threat from China. Last week, Biden signed an order that was extended on another Trump measure banning Americans investing in 59 Chinese companies which are seen as undermining U.S. national security.
On Tuesday, the administration announced the details of a supply chain review aimed at reducing China’s US dependence on a range of technologies and materials such as rare earths that are critical to the manufacture of everything from electric vehicles and smartphones to fighter and precision-guided missiles.
“When you consider this new executive order and investment action from last week, the administration is clearly moving from months of reviews to a period of more sustained action and implementation,” said Eric Sayers, a security expert at the ‘American Institute of Enterprise.
“The real success of this new data security framework would be the adoption by it by other countries in struggling with how to balance open data flows with a more reliable model to ensure security,” Sayers said.
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