Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

TikTok ban’s fate is uncertain in the Senate, where there is less urgency to act

By 37ci3 Mar13,2024



WASHINGTON – The A bill that could ban TikTok has been passed by parliament It faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where there is less urgency to act, and senators have differing theories about how to address national security concerns about the app’s China-based owner.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the Senate is unlikely to pass the House bill as is and called for an open amendment process to make changes to it.

“I think we’re going to take their bill and amend it and say we’ve found some areas where we think it needs to be improved,” Cornyn said. “My concern is that if you try to do this with a name, you’re playing a game of Whack a Mole, because what’s TikTok today is TokTik or TicTak or whatever next week.”

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He added that the Senate will not act as quickly as the House did.

“We’re taking things slowly here, and it takes time,” Cornyn said.

The House will need 60 votes, and senators have several concerns. Many say the national security threat posed by TikTok is urgent, and some are ready to support the House bill. Others want a broader approach that includes a variety of outsourced programs rather than targeting one company. Others worry that China will try to retaliate against the United States

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is undecided on whether the Senate will vote on the House bill, telling reporters Tuesday: “I will have to consult with my respective committee chairs to see what, and I intend to consult. they will have their opinions.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. and top Republican Marco Rubio, R-Fla., added in a joint statement Tuesday that they were “encouraged” by the bipartisan House vote and “will work together.” Let this bill pass through the Senate and be signed into law.”

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do yet, we have to talk to a lot of people,” said another key chair, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee.

“The whole point here is that you have a dilemma,” Cantwell said. “You want free speech, but you also want the United States to have some ability to protect U.S. citizens or the U.S. military from foreign actors who might be harmful in what they use as a means of communication. So we want to get these people a tool, whether it’s the Commerce Department or the DOJ, so they can pursue these actions.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., acknowledged that a ban on TikTok may not be politically beneficial for President Joe Biden’s re-election in November. The Biden campaign joined TikTok last month to meet voters “where they are,” though the president has said he will sign the ban if it passes both houses of Congress.

“Cutting off a large group of young voters is not the most popular strategy for getting re-elected,” Durbin said.

“They love TikTok, I know that from my grandchildren and others. And it’s part of their way of life and they don’t want to lose it,” he added.

There is TikTok warned It was “stalled” in the House, calling the bill “a ban” on its “impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses and the 170 million Americans who use our service.”

But concerns about China potentially accessing U.S. users’ data through TikTok or disseminating content on the app to influence Americans’ opinions have resonated with many members of Congress.

Supporters of the bill reject the term “ban,” saying it will only happen if TikTok’s China-based owner, ByteDance, refuses to give up the social app. The bill would create a process for the president to deem a social media app controlled by a foreign enemy a threat to national security and ban it from US app stores for six months unless the app cuts ties with that country.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the House would be inclined to “support” the bill, adding that recent security briefings are leading lawmakers to restrict TikTok.

“The more we know, the scarier TikTok becomes,” he said. “With the TikTok issue and all the bad things out there, not just in terms of the impact on young people, but also the ongoing data collection and surveillance. “The dark side of the moon is bigger than we thought.”

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, said he was concerned that China might retaliate against U.S. firms.

“I’m sympathetic to what they’re trying to accomplish, I think my main concern is making sure we think about that,” Tillis said, “We have to keep in mind that some of the real giants in this space are U.S.-based firms. We can think about China’s response, which makes me it is a disturbing thing.

“I’m not overly concerned with TikTok’s well-being because I think China is in their DNA,” Tillis said, “So they need to act themselves so we don’t have to.”

Asked about the bill ahead of Wednesday’s vote, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin pushed back on the bill and congressional rhetoric on Wednesday, telling reporters the U.S. lacked “evidence to prove that TikTok poses a threat to U.S. national security” and urged Americans to accused of “using threats”. a tactic when you can’t win a fair competition.”

ByteDance is subject to Chinese law is required If requested by the government, TikTok will hand over data that may contain user data.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he strongly opposes the TikTok ban, citing First and Fifth Amendment concerns.

“It never ceases to amaze me the efforts that some in Congress will make to gain more power and control over Americans’ free speech,” Paul he tweeted.

He won the answer Elon Musk on X: “Looks like there’s more to worry about in this bill than who owns TikTok!”

Paul told NBC News that there are strong constitutional concerns about the bill. “180 million Americans use it, you can’t take away your right to express your opinion just because you don’t like a company,” he said. The Fifth Amendment says you can’t take someone’s property without due process. And the bill attainder says you can’t write a law against a person or a company, those are pretty strong arguments.”

“It’s based on the hysteria of banning everything in China, which I don’t think is good,” he said.

Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, both former TikTok users, said they would prefer to see Congress fight the law. protects children online rather than banning a social media platform.

“Any discussion about TikTok should include all the other companies that are targeting all these teenagers and causing the biggest mental health crisis in our country’s history,” Markey said.

TikTok “has some great things for kids and some really terrible things for kids,” Murphy said. “I would rather regulate the social media industry to protect children than ban a technology.”

Murphy added that he has not decided whether he will support the House bill, but said he is open to it.

Penn State Sen. John Fetterman joked with reporters that TikTok made him spend too much money on his daughter at Sephora, calling the app “garbage.”

“I spent hundreds of dollars on the Drunken Elephant at Sephora and it’s annoying,” she said.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., predicted that Congress would act on TikTok.

“I think it will be banned,” he said. “Poisonous.”





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