Congress Introduces Bill to Ban TikTok from the U.S. Amid Spying Fears

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Members of both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced a new bipartisan bill that aims to completely ban TikTok from operating in the country amid spying concerns.

While there have been multiple attempts at banning TikTok over the years, the app has continued to thrive in and grow, but new legislation, if passed, will end the ByteDance app from working in the United States at all.

The bipartisan bill, introduced both in the House and Senate, would block and prohibit all transactions from any social media company based in or “influenced by” China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela, although the bill does seem to be particularly pointed at TikTok.

“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party — America’s foremost adversary,” Representative Mike Gallagher says.

“Allowing the app to continue to operate in the U.S. would be like allowing the U.S.S.R. to buy up the New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”

Gallagher introduced the bill alongside Senator Mark Rubio and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi who argue that The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act) would protect Americans.

“At a time when the Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad are seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance, it is imperative that we do not allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against us,” Krishnamoorthi argues.

Rubio argues that the federal government has not taken any meaningful action to protect against what he calls the “threat of TikTok,” and says that needs to change.

“This is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good,” Rubio says.

As explained by Engadget, it’s not clear if this bill will be signed into law even if it passes. President Biden revoked former President Trump’s order to ban TikTok downloads and, as the publication notes, he isn’t likely to override his own order.

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