President Joe Biden has rescinded executive orders of former President Donald Trump that prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat and eight others software apps, pointing out that two of those orders are the subject of lawsuits, for one thing.
In its place President Biden, via his own executive order, is instituting a regime to protect the information and communications technology and services (ICTS) supply chain by using "criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address the risks posed by ICTS transactions involving software applications that are designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons that are owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including the People’s Republic of China, that may present an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the American people."
The Biden order directs the Department of Commerce to evaluate "foreign adversary connected software applications" according to published rules and criteria for identifying applications "that may pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security and the American people."
Commerce is also directed to come up with recommendations for how to protect personal, sensitive data from harms from its sale, transfer or access by "persons owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, foreign adversaries."
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), one of big tech's biggest critics and a backer of Trump's Executive Order ban tweeted that Biden's reversal was a "major mistake."
“This executive order by the Biden administration adopts a risk-based, transparent, and comprehensive approach to evaluating the security and privacy risks of foreign technology products, a clear contrast to the previous administration’s uncoordinated approach on this issue," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues on ways in which we can codify these approaches to better ensure long-term consistency and predictability in our national policies in this area.”
Free State Foundation President Randolph May said in a blog post that while he has issues with Big Tech as well, he is not ready to endorse treating edge providers like common carriers.
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