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Congress Introduces Bill to Ban TikTok

Congress Introduces Bill to Ban TikTok

American politicians are no longer looking to just restrict access to TikTok — they now hope to ban it outright.

Members of both the House and Senate have introduced matching bills that would block transactions from any social media company in or influenced by China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea or Venezuela. The ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act (Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party) is meant to shut down access to TikTok and other apps that could theoretically funnel American user data to oppressive governments, censor news or otherwise manipulate the public.

U.S. political leaders have argued about this for years. While TikTok has taken efforts to distance its international operations from those in China, such as by storing U.S. data domestically, critics have argued that parent company ByteDance is ultimately at the mercy of the Chinese government. TikTok could potentially profile government workers and otherwise surveil Americans, according to the oft-repeated claims.

It’s uncertain if the ANTISOCIAL CCP Act will actually pass. President Biden recently rescinded the executive order issued by his predecessor, former President Trump, which sought to prohibit the app’s usage in the United States. Biden instead mandated a new national security review, and is not expected to overrule his own order.

Despite its sponsors claiming the bill has bipartisan support, it’s uncertain whether it has enough backing to pass the necessary votes and reach Biden‘s desk. To a certain extent, this bill may be more of an expression of intent than a practical attempt to take TikTok down. 

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