A bipartisan group of lawmakers is moving to try and ban TikTok in the United States.
The social media platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act, or ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act, aims to “protect Americans from the threat posed by certain foreign adversaries using current or potential future social media companies that those foreign adversaries control to surveil Americans, learn sensitive data about Americans, or spread influence campaigns, propaganda, and censorship.”
The Hill reports that “the bill was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), citing the FBI and FCC’s latest concerns about the social media platforms being used to spy on Americans.”
“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
Former President Donald Trump had attempted to ban TikTok while he was in office in 2020, but was blocked. Many, including Democrats, have now admitted that he had been right.
Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, admitted Trump was right during a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday.
The senator told host Shannon Bream, “as painful as it is for me to say, if Donald Trump was right and we could’ve taken action then, that’d have been a heckuva lot easier than trying to take action in November of 2022.”
Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner on TikTok: “I think Donald Trump was right. TikTok is an enormous threat.” pic.twitter.com/8g2fRwxrF7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2022
“Did Washington simply not listen because they didn’t like the messenger then and what can we do now?” Bream asked.
“Well, I think Donald Trump was right,” Warner said. “I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat.”
Warner explained that TikTok is “a massive collector of information,” including from children.
“So if you’re a parent and you got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned,” Warner said. “All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.”
Sen. Tom Cotton also recently sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding information about foreign TikTok employees in the United States.
“TikTok captures vast amounts of private information on users, including American citizens, and has long been suspected of providing the CCP with potential access to that information,” Cotton wrote. “This threatens the safety and security of American citizens, and also functions as an avenue for the Chinese government to track the locations of and develop blackmail on Federal employees and contractors.”
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