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"An app controlled by a foreign adversary": Bipartisan bill seeks to ban TikTok

The legislation was introduced by Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the senior congressmen on the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.


Cordon Press

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Congress is back on the offensive against TikTok. The House of Representatives introduced bipartisan legislation that seeks to ban the Chinese social network in the United States. Specifically, the text would force ByteDance, the parent company of the China-based application, to get rid of it or directly face a ban on U.S. soil.

The bill, dubbed the ‘Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,’ was introduced by Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), members of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party in the Lower House.

What does the Anti-TikTok bill say?

Specifically, it would prevent app stores or web hosting services from hosting ByteDance-controlled apps, including TikTok, unless the app breaks ties with entities such as ByteDance that are “subject to the control of a foreign adversary, as defined by Congress under Title 10.”

In turn, it would create a procedure for the president to designate specific applications as being under the control of a foreign adversary, per Title 10, and posing a national security risk. These applications would face the aforementioned prohibition on availability.

“Break with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to your U.S. users”

The legislation also has the support of the following members of Congress: Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Bob Latta (R-OH), Andre Carson (D-IN), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Chip Roy (R-TX), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Shontell Brown (D-OH), Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).

This is my message to TikTok: break up with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to your American users. America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the United States. TikTok’s time in the United States is over unless it ends its relationship with CCP-controlled ByteDance.” Gallagher asserted.

Krishnamoorthi echoed his colleague’s comments, adding that the legislation would empower the president to pressure apps that threaten the country.

“So long as it is owned by ByteDance and thus required to collaborate with the CCP, TikTok poses critical threats to our national security. Our bipartisan legislation would protect American social media users by driving the divestment of foreign adversary-controlled apps to ensure that Americans are protected from the digital surveillance and influence operations of regimes that could weaponize their personal data against them. Whether it’s Russia or the CCP, this bill ensures the president has the tools he needs to press dangerous apps to divest and defend Americans’ security and privacy against our adversaries,” the Democrat said.

The response from the company was swift and highlighted the impact it could have on small and medium-sized companies that use the social network to attract a larger number of customers.

“This bill is an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it. This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs,” Alex Haurek, a spokesperson for TikTok, told The Hill.