Srs Bsns: Will Oracle’s Proposed Partnership With TikTok Succeed In Addressing Security Concerns Or Save It From A Ban?

Earlier this summer, news of TikTok facing potential bans around the globe was just beginning to heat up. As both the controversy and summer continued to simmer over the last couple of months, it seemed like the Chinese-owned app was doomed to face the banhammer in the U.S.

But just as President Donald Trump’s executive order that TikTok be sold to a U.S. company was nearing its 45-day deadline this week, it appeared that Oracle would swoop down at the final moment to rescue it from the jaws of defeat.

Following the news of Microsoft’s failed attempt to acquire TikTok, which was in the works for several weeks, Oracle emerged almost out of thin air to announce its partnership with the video-sharing application over the weekend. The murkiness surrounding both Microsoft’s flop and Oracle’s sudden win have left many bamboozled, as the exact reasons for each are largely vague, especially considering that the “partnership” isn’t really a “sale” as defined by the executive order.

To add further concern, Oracle co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison’s personal relationship with the president has been another major point of contention surrounding this unexpected deal. According to Business Insider earlier this year, Ellison held a fundraiser for Trump at his private estate in California, leading many to suggest that the Oracle-TikTok partnership might involve some troubling favoritism.

Regardless of this, the news of TikTok’s U.S. ban appeared to reach a final conclusion this week. Under the vague partnership, Oracle’s “trusted tech partner” status is quite unclear compared to Microsoft’s bid, which would’ve “made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting misinformation,” according to the company’s statement.

As far as anyone knows so far, the partnership between Oracle and TikTok’s U.S. operation will see Oracle as a sort of “babysitter,” similar to TikTok’s operations in countries like Korea and Nigeria. This means that operations in the U.S. will face oversight by Oracle, who would take over hosting, but control of the highly contested source code remains under the thumb of TikTok … and thus, China. Not only would this partnership fail to address the most legitimate concerns about TikTok’s operations regarding American citizens, but it would also “demonstrate that this exercise was pure grift,” according to former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos.

Well, so much for that plan. At around 4 p.m. today, the media sphere began swirling with news that pointed to Oracle’s bid for TikTok falling short of resolving concerns over national security. According to a report from Bloomberg News, which stems from sources familiar with the deal, U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are still concerned that TikTok would have access to the data of its users, which would then be accessible by its Bejing-based owner ByteDance.

This news that things aren’t sailing as smoothing as previously thought also comes after Senator Marco Rubio and a group of other Republican senators called on the Trump administration to reject the proposed deal between the two companies just this morning over “serious concerns.” The group urged the Trump administration to walk away from signing off on the partnership unless all ties between TikTok’s U.S. operations and ByteDance were completely severed.

“We remain opposed to any deal that would allow China-based or controlled entities to retain, control or modify the code or algorithms that operate any U.S.-based version of TikTok,” Rubio wrote. “We are heartened that this deal still requires government approval, and if reports indicating this proposed deal will retain links to ByteDance or other Chinese-controlled entities, we strongly urge the administration to reject such a proposal on national security grounds.”

With all this in mind, national-security regulators are currently reviewing the proposal, with plans to reach an ultimate resolution on the matter by Sunday, coinciding with the end of the 45-day deadline. But what exactly the final outcome of this partnership, the concerns over national security and the fate of TikTok remain uncertain for the time being.

Throughout all of this turmoil, ByteDance and TikTok have each denied that they provide any sort of aid to the Chinese government. Even if TikTok as a platform is completely uninteresting to you, it’s hard to argue that this whole clusterfuck hasn’t been enthralling, to say the least.

Source – Know Your Meme News


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Meme

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