US ban on TikTok? New Congressional bills suggest this.

Talks about banning TikTok have been going on since the Trump administration. Over the past five years, the federal government has taken a number of measures to alleviate espionage concerns, including an ongoing agreement and a recent agreement to transfer US users’ data from the social video-sharing app to an American company. Senate hearing with the company’s chief operating officer.

However, not everyone was happy with the requirements in the potential data transfer agreement, and skeptics were unconvinced by TikTok’s processing of users’ personal information. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, said: New York Times Earlier this year, unless the tie between TikTok and ByteDance (the Chinese company that now owns the app) was completely severed, “significant national security issues with operations, data, and algorithms” [will still be] unsolved.”

This week, Rubio went further by introducing a bill proposing a nationwide ban on TikTok and any other ByteDance-owned app or platform. (His name is word of mouth: National Internet Surveillance, Repressive Censorship and Prevention of Influence and Algorithmic Learning Threat by Law of the Communist Party of China.) If passed, it will “block and ban all transactions from any social media company or influence of China, Russia, and several other foreign countries.” Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced ancillary legislation in the House.

Envy of legacy, besieged apps like Facebook and YouTube, TikTok has become a de facto search engine and news source for younger users. But since its debut in the US in 2016, it has received both positive and negative attention.

Critics of the latest bill say that such a broad ban would mostly affect more than a billion daily users, particularly the younger generation of users who use TikTok as a stage for political activism, social commentary, and other constitutionally protected forms of expression. . Moreover, Techdirt He notes that an excessive focus on just one application ignores the larger problem plaguing many modern technology companies (including American companies) that sell and broker data.

[Related: How data brokers threaten your privacy]

“TikTok’s security, privacy, and relationship with the Chinese government are truly worrisome, but a complete ban is not the answer,” said Kurt Opsahl, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. PopSci. “An all-out ban was not narrowly tailored to the least restrictive means to address security and privacy concerns, and instead dealt a blow to censor the speech of millions of ordinary Americans.” He declined to comment on whether the bill could actually pass.

TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide told multiple organizations she thinks this bill is hasty, given that there is an ongoing national security review by the Biden administration. “We will continue to keep members of Congress informed of plans (plans we have begun to implement) developed under the oversight of our nation’s top national security agencies to further secure our platform in the United States,” McQuaide said. with CNN.

Rubio isn’t the only congressman to strive to increase TikTok’s influence. In an attempt to deal with the larger national security concerns raised at the Intelligence Committee hearing with TikTok on Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill introduced by Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that prohibits downloading and using it. app on government-issued devices. In order for the law to become law, it must pass the House and be approved by President Joe Biden.

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