U.S. lawmakers unveil new bill to ban TikTok

U.S. lawmakers unveil new bill to ban TikTok

Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bipartisan bill on Tuesday to ban the Chinese social media app TikTok in the US, over fears it is being used to collect data on Americans and spread Chinese propaganda and censorship to the West.

The legislation mentioned Countering the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Repressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by Chinese Communist Party Lawwill block all transactions from any social media company that is under the influence of China and Russia, Rubio’s office said in an announcement.

The bill, also sponsored by Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, says it would “protect Americans from the threat posed by certain foreign adversaries” — specifically calling out TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance — that use social media “to track Americans, learn sensitive data about Americans, or spread influence campaigns, propaganda, and censorship.

In a statement, Rubio said, “The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — it’s about an app that collects data on tens of millions of people every day. Collecting American children and adults.”

However, TikTok strongly disputes the proposed bill.

“It is troubling that, rather than encourage the administration to complete its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically motivated ban that will do nothing to protect national security of the United States,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement, Reuters reported. The spokesperson added that TikTok will continue to brief members of Congress on plans to “further secure our platform in the United States” that are already “well underway.”

The trying to ban TikTok trend

Since it flourished during the pandemic, TikTok has come under intense scrutiny in the US – highlighted by a failed attempt in July 2020 by the Trump administration to ban the Chinese social media app.

TikTok fought those efforts by filing two lawsuits against the order — claiming it was motivated by Trump’s efforts to shore up support for re-election through protectionist trade policies — and the action was rescinded when the Biden administration came to power has.

But since then, TikTok’s influence and its 100 million US users have only gained more attention. A Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission argued in June that TikTok should be kicked off the iPhone and Android app stores after a Buzzfeed News report found ByteDance “repeatedly accessed non-public data about US TikTok users .”

During a hearing held last month, FBI Director Chris Wrap warned that TikTok’s US operations raised national security concerns, arguing that the Chinese government could use TikTok to access data on its millions of US users. collect and control its recommendation algorithm to influence operations. Alabama and Utah also joined other states on Monday in banning the use of TikTok on state government devices and computer networks due to national security concerns.

The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and TikTok have been in talks for months to try to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of TikTok’s US users with little to no avail. If they cannot reach an agreement, there is a risk that the US government will take action against TikTok and ban it from the US market.

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