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 December 16, 2022

Congress introduces bill to ban TikTok

Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban TikTok in the U.S. over security concerns related to the Chinese-owned company.

The bipartisan plan was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in the House.

The concern

"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 — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day," Rubio said in a statement.

"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," he added.

The details

The Senate bill is called 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).

The legislation would "block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of" a social media company that is based in or "organized under the laws of a country of concern."

"TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has raised fears in the U.S. that Chinese government officials could gain access to U.S. user data under Chinese law that could compel the company to hand over information," CNBC reported.

"TikTok has insisted U.S. user data is safely stored outside of China, which it says should keep it out of reach of government officials," it added.

Users of the app are understandably concerned over the potential loss of memories and connections with others on the app. The security concerns, however, outweigh the benefits for American users.

The federal legislation follows bans by several states in recent weeks to keep TikTok off of state-owned devices. Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota and Texas are among at least seven states to launch bans so far.

It is uncertain whether the bills will have enough support to pass and be signed by the president, but it's clear TikTok has become a major national security concern.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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