Lawmakers unveil bipartisan bill to ban TikTok 'for good'
According to the lawmakers, it is unclear whether TikTok can protect the privacy of its users and safeguard U.S. user data from the Chinese government
December 14, 2022 7:09am
Updated: December 14, 2022 8:25am
A group of U.S. lawmakers in the House and Senate announced new legislation that seeks to ban the social media platform TikTok from operating in the United States over fears of spying and data privacy.
The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP) Act was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to address the security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned short-form video app.
According to the lawmakers, it is unclear whether TikTok can protect the privacy of its users and safeguard U.S. user data from the Chinese government.
“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. “We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China.”
The bill would “block and prohibit all transactions” by social media companies that have at least one million monthly users and are based in or under the “substantial influence” of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, the lawmakers said in a statement.
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said in a 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.”
Rubio added that a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was being sponsored by Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi.
TikTok has previously claimed that it does not share information with the Chinese government, adding that a U.S.-based security team decides who can access U.S. user information from China.
“It is troubling that rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States," a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the company would continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that are "well underway" to "further secure our platform in the United States."