President Trump signed a pair of executive orders released late Thursday that would bar transactions with Chinese social media networks TikTok and WeChat. PEN America digital freedom program director Matt Bailey said the following:

“The president’s twin orders to effectively ban TikTok and WeChat in the U.S. respond to real problems with overly blunt tools. These orders shine a harsh light on the expansive and expanding world of apps and tools that spy on their users, and the normalization of that surveillance. We, like many others, are particularly concerned about the privacy and security of users’ information on TikTok and WeChat, as well as the reach of censorship and influence operations by the Chinese government. All governments should adopt transparent, watertight consumer protections that ensure that, as our lives move increasingly online, our personal information cannot be sucked away without our knowledge and swept up by governments and corporations for uses that have nothing to do with a gaming or messaging app. It bears noting, of course, that a slew of major U.S. apps and digital platforms have long been banned in China. Nonetheless, banning apps wholesale in the name of national security is a risky business, particularly amid an escalating tit-for-tat set of tensions in the U.S.-China relationship. The internet must remain open and global; good governance, not bans, is what is needed.”