Solon seeks to ban TikTok, ‘foreign adversary-controlled’ apps in PH

MANILA, Philippines — A bill proposing a ban on TikTok and other “foreign adversary-controlled” social platforms in the Philippines was filed by a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

According to Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. in a statement on Saturday, this was to protect Filipinos against malicious campaigns on the said apps.

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“With the rising tension between China and the Philippines, the government must take positive preemptive action to ensure that we protect our citizens from manipulation and misinformation campaigns using social media – from any foreign adversary country,” Abante said.

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Abante filed House Bill 10489 on Thursday seeking to regulate websites, desktop and mobile applications that are controlled by “foreign adversaries” and the like in the country.

Under the bill, the country’s president will be the one to identify foreign adversaries, which are those that have adverse interests to the country, or those that threaten national security or the territory.

“The proposed bill regulates conduct rather than targeting the content of speech. The provisions in this proposed bill focus on national security threats and an application’s ownership by a foreign adversary,” Abante added.

The lawmaker added that one of the reasons why he filed the bill was to prevent foreign adversaries from collecting information from Filipino users and to protect the country’s communications.

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“The primary reason why I am proposing this bill is for our country to be watchful of foreign adversary countries infiltrating our communication infrastructure and making a mockery of our cybersecurity and intelligence,” he continued.

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“We need to take a preemptive action to prevent the clear and present danger of foreign adversary-controlled companies operating in the Philippines with the purpose and capability of harvesting data from unsuspecting subscribers,” he added.


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