Since the dawn of the internet era, the United States has been pushing the line that every company needed to allow unfettered access to the web, or else they were violating the rights of their citizens. Any country that dared limit access to the web was chastised for their supposedly authoritarian actions. The only permitted explanation for these actions was that governments wanted to restrict access to particular information — and in some cases that was certainly true — but it wasn’t always the case.
If you think about these approaches from an economic lens, we can make some pretty different conclusions. The US desire to have every country adopt an open web served its geopolitical and economic interests, similar to how it was already pushing them to drop their trade barriers in favor of free trade and unrestricted capital flows. The companies to gain an early foothold on the web were US companies, and the internet’s global expansion was great for their businesses. Today, most of the internet services we depend on are run by US companies — and the US government wants to keep it that way.
Just as I said, the impending bans on TikTok have little to do with privacy. It’s all about optics and economics.
If the governments cared about the privacy of their citizens they’d start building strong privacy laws and stop talking about outlawing encryption. Encryption is out there so if it’s against the law the only people using it will be the people we don’t want in society.