US lawmakers issue TikTok demands — RT World News

US lawmakers issue TikTok demands — RT World News

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New legislation targets apps and social networks controlled by countries Washington considers “adversaries”

US lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that could force TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to divest the video app in order to prevent it from being banned in the country.

The Congressional bill, dubbed ‘The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act’, paints TikTok as posing a threat to national security due to ByteDance’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“This is my message to TikTok: break up with the CCP or lose access to your American users. America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the US,” Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House Select Committee on the CCP and one of the authors of the legislation, said in a press release.

While TikTok is the only application specifically mentioned in the bill, it creates a broader framework for the US to ban other platforms controlled by countries Washington considers “foreign adversaries.” The list of nations labelled as such includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela.

“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,” stated Raja Krishnamoorthi, another lawmaker behind the bill.

If passed by Congress, the bill would mean ByteDance has about five months to divest TikTok. Should it fail to do so, US web-hosting companies and apps such as Apple Store and Google Store would have to delete TikTok and other apps linked to ByteDance.

“This bill is an outright ban of TikTok… 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 no matter how much the authors try to disguise it,” TikTok spokesman Alex Haurek said, as cited by The Hill.

It is not the first time US lawmakers have called for a ban on the vastly popular video app. A Republican-backed bill last year tried to ban TikTok outright, while a bipartisan group of senators also pitched a legislation that did not target the app specifically, but laid out a framework which could allow US authorities to identify and ban potentially dangerous apps. Both bills failed.

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