Bill banning Tiktok, other ‘foreign adversary’-controlled apps filed

MANILA: A measure seeking to prohibit applications controlled by “foreign adversaries,” such as TikTok, in the country has been filed in the House of Representatives.

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed on Thursday House Bill 10489, which seeks to prohibit the distribution, maintenance, and update of any app controlled by a ‘foreign adversary’ within the Philippines.

The proposed legislation shall authorize the President to determine any foreign country to be an adversary or a threat to the Philippines’ national security and territorial integrity.

Abante voiced concern that the popular social media app TikTok, controlled by China-based ByteDance, collects sensitive user data, enabling the Chinese government to influence and shape public opinion.

“China could therefore use TikTok’s content recommendations to fuel misinformation, a concern that has escalated in the United States and led to the passage of a law… banning TikTok in the US,” he said, adding that India also banned TikTok along with other Chi
nese-created apps.

The bill also prohibits Internet hosting services in the country that support these foreign adversary-controlled applications.

“That would effectively restrict new downloads of these foreign-adversary controlled applications and interaction with its content. The goal is to enable the Philippine government to prevent the use of these applications or any other modern technology or public utility from being used by foreign adversarial countries to threaten our national security and territorial integrity,” Abante said.

He noted that China has deepened its ties in critical infrastructures in the Philippines, highlighting that Chinese companies own a 40-percent stake in both the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and Dito Telecommunity.

“Both of these arrangements should cause concern as the Chinese companies are owned by the PRC (People’s Republic of China), and, by extension, the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Under the bill, violators who distribute, maintain, or update suc
h foreign adversary-controlled apps face imprisonment of 6 years to 12 years and a fine ranging from PHP5 million to PHP10 million.

Meanwhile, those providing Internet hosting services to support these apps shall be penalized with imprisonment of 3 years to 6 years and a fine of PHP500,000 to PHP4 million.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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