Friday, January 27, 2023
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Bipartisan Lawmakers Eye National Ban of TikTok

The bill would give the president authority 'necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of' TikTok...

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Democrat and Republican Congress members have introduced federal legislation to sanction TikTok, a social media app with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

The Trump and Biden administrations both investigated TikTok and its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance, to determine whether they posed a national security risk through their ability to spy on American citizens, but the Biden administration has not released a report, according to CNBC.

Even without a definitive national security assessment, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted that he feels “extremely concerned” about China’s ability to access data from US citizens through TikTok.

Chinese law requires companies to hand over internal information to the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has led the effort to ban TikTok, introduced the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP ACT in the Senate, while Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., introduced the bill in the House.

The bill would give the president authority “necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of” TikTok and other companies that threaten US national security.

The sanctions would aim to “prevent commercial operation of the social media company in the United States” if it is “under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.”

TikTok said the Congress members pursued “a politically-motivated ban,” rather than waiting until the Biden administration concluded its national security review.

“We will continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies—plans that we are well underway in implementing—to further secure our platform in the United States,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Five states with Republican governors, including Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Maryland, have already banned TikTok on government phones and servers.

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