Fri. May 24th, 2024

U.S. likely to enact a law soon that could ban TikTok nationwide

By 37ci3 Apr19,2024

WASHINGTON — Legislation that could ban TikTok in the United States unless it cuts ties with its Chinese parent company is quickly on track to reach President Joe Biden’s desk and be signed into law.

The bill, which has the support of Biden and key members of Congress, would allow the administration to ban the popular video-sharing app domestically unless it divests China-based ByteDance within a year.

A similar bill already passed the House in March by a bipartisan, 352-65 vote. But Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., wanted to point that out in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Now, the House plans to package a slightly revised TikTok bill that would provide billions in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but guarantees that a potential ban on TikTok will become law.

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. The House plans to hold a combined foreign aid and TikTok package Saturday night and send it to the Senate, with a possible vote there early next week, according to a strategy used by Trump.

In recent weeks, Johnson’s team has worked closely with the White House on the package, and Biden has already said he will soon sign the broader package, which includes other packages, into law. GOP national security prioritieswhom REPO Act and sanctions against Iran. Biden, however, supported the original TikTok ban bill in the House of Representatives the campaign has an account in the program.

Leaders from both parties, as well as national security officials, warn that TikTok is a threat to national security. There are concerns that the Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok to gain information and use the app’s algorithms to spy on its American users, spread disinformation and manipulate elections like the one in November.

TikTok argued that the bill amounted to a ban that would violate the First Amendment rights of millions of U.S. users and harm small businesses that reach customers through the app.

“Unfortunately, the House is using critical foreign and humanitarian aid to intervene again in a ban bill that would trample on the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, destroy 7 million businesses, and shut down a contributing platform. 24 billion dollars come to the US economy every year,” said TikTok statement.

The House TikTok bill, called the Protecting Americans from Controlled Applications by Foreign Adversaries Act, would create a process for the president to designate certain social media applications under the control of China, Russia, Iran and other adversaries through the FBI and intelligence agencies. North Korea as a national security threat.

Once an app is deemed a risk, it will be banned from online app stores and web hosting services unless it is severed from entities controlled by a foreign competitor. The legislation specifically targets TikTok.

The revised TikTok language would extend the forfeiture period from the original six months to nine months, and it would also give the president an additional, one-time 90-day extension.

The change pleased Senate Commerce Chairman Cantwell, who has been slowly working his way through the House bill. He said the change was his recommendation.

“It’s guaranteed to be more likely to miss, so we think that’s an important part,” Cantwell told reporters Thursday, adding that other tweaks should be delayed until later.

“They didn’t put in any other language and so we could look at things down the road, but for now we support what they’re doing,” he said.

While the bill had bipartisan support in both chambers, a handful of lawmakers argued it would stifle free speech. Rep. Nancy Mace, RSC, introduced an amendment that would repeal the TikTok language.

“Banning TikTok is beating the same drum as other communist countries that control what content we can see,” Mace said last month. “Let’s not give the government more power to control social media.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a progressive from D.N.Y., who has more than 240,000 followers on TikTok, led the opposition to the ban on Capitol Hill.

“A lot of people on the Hill are ignoring that an outright ban on TikTok will hurt the livelihoods of many working class people, many of whom are people of color,” Bowman told NBC News.

“We must protect people’s constitutional rights to free speech and privacy. We must pass comprehensive social media security legislation that protects people on all platforms from the excesses of Big Tech,” he said. “Let’s get to work on it now.”

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By 37ci3

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