Indications of the Extent of the Exposure

A Rapid City city councilman, Jason Salamun, wants to ban TikTok from city-owned devices and networks, and to prohibit city agencies from using the app. A councilwoman, Laura Armstrong, opposes the proposed ban, claiming Rapid City has bigger problems to solve, such as crime and drugs. Yet that just illustrates how easily the ban could be enacted compared with solutions to those bigger problems.

Armstrong also claims—and she’s serious—that TikTok isn’t a threat. Never mind that TikTok is wholly owned by People’s Republic of China-domiciled ByteDance, and that under the PRC’s national intelligence law, ByteDance can be required by the nation’s intelligence apparatus to conduct espionage on American government and business entities and on individual Americans. That espionage would be done through TikTok.

Armstrong did some of her own research on the matter.

Among the things she found, the city’s exhibition center could lose business because contracts with musicians require the venue to promote gigs via TikTok, she said.
The city’s fire and police departments use TikTok to recruit, and the Solid Waste department has an official TikTok account….

That demonstrates how widespread the city’s exposure is, yet Armstrong is arguing, and again she’s actually serious, that far from demonstrating the threat, this exposure demonstrates only the difficulty of ridding the city of the threat.

Go figure.

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