The Committee on Foreign Investment of the U.S. Cracks Down on Tiktok: Is a Potential Ban on the Horizon?
Since 2019, TikTok and ByteDance, its parent company, officials have been negotiating with the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS) regarding required technical safeguards they will need to adopt to be in compliance with US national security concerns. The popular social media app, which gained traction during the beginning of 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, has been scrutinized by many officials regarding concerns for user privacy. Currently, the Biden administration has been working to encourage TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their investment in the app or face a potential national ban in the U.S.. However, Tiktok representatives argue this will not alleviate concerns about user data privacy.
Safeguarding Technologies through the Disruptive Technology Strike Force
On February 16, 2023, the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Commerce (DoC) announced the launch of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force. Under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the strike force will bring together various agencies throughout the government, including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and 14 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, to “target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains and protect critical technological assets from being acquired or used by nation-state adversaries”.
One Year into Russian Invasion of Ukraine: New Russia-Related Sanctions
Exactly one year since the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24th 2023, the White House, in coordination with other G7 leaders (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom), announced the newest round of sanctionsagainst key revenue generating sectors for Russia. In efforts to further degrade Russia’s economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine, the action newly targets over 200 individuals and entities including Russian firms, banks, manufacturers, and officials that helped Russia evade earlier sanctions throughout the war. Including members of the European Union, more than 30 countries representing more than half the world’s economy have already imposed unprecedented sanctions on the Russian economy, making it the most sanctioned nation in the world.