US bipartisan bill could lead to banning of TikTok

US bipartisan bill could lead to banning of TikTok

US bipartisan bill could lead to banning of TikTok

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A group of US senators has unveiled new bipartisan legislation that would give the administration new powers to restrict or even ban foreign technology. In particular, the bill could be used to ban TikTok in the United States if the administration deems it to cause national security threats.


Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) are leading the charge with support from 10 other senators. If the bill passes, the Commerce Department will be able to “review, prevent, and mitigate” software, hardware, or services from foreign adversaries.

The text of the bill names some of these adversarial nations – China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela. The maximum restriction would be a ban.

“Today, the threat everyone is talking about is TikTok, and how it could enable surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party, or facilitate the spread of malicious influence campaigns in the United States. Before TikTok, however, it was Huawei and ZTE, which threatened our national telecommunications networks. And before that, it was Kaspersky Lab in Russia which threatened the security of government and enterprise devices,” Senator Warner said in a statement.

According to him, this is why the United States needs a new systemic approach to foreign threats “so that we don’t play Whac-A-Mole”, he said. While the new RESTRICT law could potentially be used against many different foreign companies, nearly every senator working on this bill cites TikTok as the top threat du jour.

TikTok is owned by a private Chinese company called ByteDance. Its growing popularity in the United States also comes with growing concerns about user data and foreign interference.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan endorsed the bill. “This legislation would provide the U.S. government with new mechanisms to mitigate national security risks posed by high-risk technology companies operating in the United States,” he said.

“Essentially, this would strengthen our ability to deal with discrete risks posed by individual transactions and systemic risks posed by certain categories of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors,” he added.

This isn’t the first effort to pass a bill that would ban TikTok in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favor of the DATA Act. But Democrats opposed this different bill.

As for TikTok, representatives have repeatedly said that US user data is not accessible to the Chinese government. “A U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on exporting American culture and values ​​to the more than one billion people who use our service around the world,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter told TechCrunch the week. last.

TikTok is already banned on government-issued devices in the United States. Canada and the European Commission have also ordered staff to remove the social media app from their work phones.


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