A United States House panel has voted to give President Joe Biden the power to ban Chinese-owned TikTok. The proposed legislation would give the President the authority to block or restrict access to any social media platform deemed to pose a national security risk.
TikTok has long been scrutinized for its alleged ties to the Chinese government and its use of user data. As a result, some US lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are concerned that TikTok could be used to collect personal data from American citizens, which the Chinese government could access.
The measure to give the administration new powers to ban was then approved by a vote of 24 to 16. Representative Michael McCaul, a supporter of the ban and the Republican chair of the committee that sponsored the bill, stated; “TikTok is a national security threat … It is time to act.” He added that “Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP (Communist Party of China) a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into their phone.”
The bill would give the president new powers to ban foreign-owned apps and would require companies with ties to TikTok or other Chinese-owned apps to face sanctions.
Meanwhile, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has long denied any connection to Beijing’s surveillance or propaganda operations. However, critics point to Chinese law, which requires companies based in the country to comply with any and all requests from state intelligence services.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.