The TikTok saga continues and US legislators from different political spectrums in the country have recently introduced a number of legislation that would allow the White House the power to outright ban the Chinese social media app.
Although it’s not an outright ban, it can be abrupt if the US government finds the app as well as a number of other foreign software services are posing threats to the country’s security.
With over 100 million American users on the platform, the government has thereby ordered its agents to remove the app from their government-issued devices within 30 days. The same order has been given in other countries such as Canada and the European Union.
The new bill will give the US Commerce Department the power to impose restrictions on the platform and potentially ban it alongside others if it poses any threat to national security according to a report from Reuters.
- Advertisement -
Those comments were gotten from a Democrat Senator, Mark Warner who s the chairman o the Intelligence Committee.
He maintained that technologies from countries such as China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba could be used in the country f they violate serious security regulations.
TikTok criticized the measure, saying in a statement that any “U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”
The bill would require Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to identify and address foreign threats to information and communications technology products and services.
Raimondo’s office declined to comment.
TikTok being the main culprit continues to face hostilities from many western countries over allegations that the Chinese government can at any point request data of foreign users from the company and it will be obligated to give these data to the Chinese government
The senators introducing the legislation, led by Warner and Republican John Thune, also include Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Joe Manchin, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Martin Heinrich along with Republicans Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Dan Sullivan, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney.
Warner stated the importance of the government to ensure that it takes the necessary step required to curb any matter of national security as it arises.
“It’s going to be incumbent on the government to show its cards in terms of how this is a threat,” Warner said.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan praised the bipartisan bill, saying it “would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, and systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors.”
“We look forward to continuing working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk,” he said in a statement.
Raimondo further added that she welcomes this legislative framework as it addresses these threats while protecting the American people while also saying she will commit to advancing the legislation through the US Congress.
TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew is due to appear before Congress on March 23.
Senator Marco Rubio told Fox News on Tuesday that Warner’s bill doesn’t go far enough, saying that it “takes steps” in the direction of barring TikTok in the United States.
“We should pass a bill that bans TikTok,” Rubio said. “I have the only bipartisan, bicameral bill that actually does that.”
A vote was cast last week on a bill sponsored by a Republican Representative Michael McCaul in which President Biden would be given the power to outright ban TikTok even though President Trump was unable to get such power after his bid to get the app baned was denied in the court.
Democrats in the Upper house aren’t fully agreeing with McCaul’s stance on the bill stating that it was rushed and required due diligence through debate and consultation with experts who are familiar with the matter.
Some major bills aimed at China such as a chips funding bill took 18 months to win approval. McCaul said he thinks the full House could vote on his bill this month.
TikTok and the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment have both been in negotiation for about two years now in order to ensure a safe environment for American users on the platform.
However, TikTok on the other hand has pledged to spend a whopping US$1.5 billion on data security efforts while it continues to deny any backdoor access to the Chinese government.
“The swiftest and most thorough way to address any national security concerns about TikTok is for CFIUS to adopt the proposed agreement that we worked with them on for nearly two years,” TikTok said Tuesday.