Three lawmakers have introduced legislation to block the Chinese-owned social media app in the US.
A new bill has been introduced by US lawmakers for the purpose of creating a TikTok ban that would stop the app from operating in the United States.
The purpose of the bill is to help protect US user data from being shared with the Chinese government.
The bill was introduced by top Senate Intelligence Committee Republican Senator Marco Rubio, as well as a bipartisan congressperson pair from the House. This new attempt at a TikTok ban is a direct reflection of the rising distrust among lawmakers in the United States against the short-form video social media app owned by a Chinese company. For years, there have been suspicions that the app’s owner is being required to share US user data with the Chinese government.
The new legislation is proposing to “block and prohibit all transactions” within the United States by social media companies that have a minimum of one million monthly users and that are either based in or are under a “substantial influence” from countries deemed foreign US adversaries, such as Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and China.
The TikTok ban bill names that app specifically, in addition to the application’s parent company ByteDance.
The bill has identified the app and ByteDance as social media companies that have brought about the requirement for the legislation. The bill hasn’t come as a surprise, as Rubio and Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, one of the bill’s House sponsors discussed their intention to introduce it last month in an op-ed published in the Washington Post.
This legislation has arrived at a time in which a number of Republican-led states have introduced their own restrictions on the use of the app on government-owned devices. Over the last two weeks alone, there were at least eight states that introduced new types of TikTok ban on government-owned gadgets, including Iowa, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska, Maryland, South Dakota, Utah, and Texas.
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” said Rubio in a prepared statement. “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.”
The State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the US military have already long banned the app from their own devices.