Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

House likely to pass a bill that could ban TikTok, sending it to the Senate

By 37ci3 Mar13,2024

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives is set to pass legislation on Wednesday It can ban TikTok In the US, Republicans and Democrats alike are sounding the alarm that the popular video-sharing app is a threat to national security.

TikTok, owned by China-based parent company ByteDance, is ramping up innovation aggressive lobbying campaign Killing the legislation, arguing that it would violate the First Amendment rights of 170 million US users and hurt the thousands of small businesses that rely on it.

“You’re going to destroy small businesses like ours; it’s our livelihood. We’ve been successful,” Paul Tran, who owns the skincare company Love and Pebble with his wife, told a pro-TikTok rally. Capitol Tuesday.

He said his business closed last year until the TikTok Shop came along and “completely blew us away”. Now 90% of their business comes from the app, he said.

“If you pass this bill,” Tran said, “you will destroy the American Dream that we truly believe in.”

Despite the push, the bipartisan bill is expected to pass the House and head to the Senate, where lawmakers are still evaluating it. President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Its supporters say it is wrong to call the legislation an outright ban. The bill, called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Enemies Controlled Applications Act, would create a process for the president, through the FBI and intelligence agencies, to designate certain social media programs under the control of foreign adversaries such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. , such as national security threats.

Once an app is deemed a risk, it will be banned from online app stores and web hosting services unless it sever ties with entities controlled by a foreign enemy within 180 days of designation. That means TikTok poses a national security risk if ByteDance doesn’t act quickly to take it down, FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

“Our intent is to separate TikTok from its parent company, ByteDance, and by extension, CCP,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., the bill’s author and chairman of the select committee investigating the Chinese Communist Party. As he left a secret general briefing on the dangers of TikTok on Tuesday. “And in that world, TikTok users can continue to use the platform. In fact, I think it will allow for a better user experience.”

US lawmakers and intelligence officials are concerned that the Chinese government may be using TikTok to access the private information of millions of its users and use algorithms to show them videos that could influence their views, including in the upcoming presidential election. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress a year ago he denied It said the Chinese government controls the app and has pushed back against suggestions that China has access to US user data.

In writing the bill, Gallagher teamed up with Rep. Raja Krishnamurthy of Illinois, the top Democrat on the China panel, and he consulted with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has been an outspoken critic of China’s human rights abuses throughout her long career.

“My concern is what TikTok is doing in Taiwan, saying that the Uyghurs love their genocide and the people of Hong Kong love voter suppression,” Pelosi told reporters.

But he added: “We want TikTok to exist; we’re not here to ban it. I said we want to make it Tik-Tok-Toe. We want to make it something that’s not a scary social media platform. It’s a very positive thing.” And in order to do that, we need to see the Chinese government, who has the right to hold the data, take it away… Whoever controls the algorithm controls all of this… it’s a matter of national security and it’s a matter of personal security.”

Ahead of the House vote, the multibillion-dollar social media behemoth’s presence was everywhere on Capitol Hill. TikTok users received pop-ups on the app urging them to call their local representatives, as well as notifications saying “Help stop TikTok being shut down.”

Outside the Capitol, several young House Democrats — Robert Garcia and Sarah Jacobs of California, Maxwell Frost of Florida and Delia Ramirez of Illinois — rallied with the TikTok creators to voice their opposition to the bill.

Frost, 27, called himself a “hell no” on the bill and predicted increased opposition if the vote was delayed a week.

JT Laybourne, one of the creators, said he was “disgusted” to hear lawmakers mocking TikTok and its creators because millions of small businesses rely on it.

“My voice is on TikTok. My goal is on TikTok. This is so. We can’t let this happen,” Laybourne pleaded.

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By 37ci3

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