TikTok ban to be introduced by bipartisan lawmakers

  • Lawmakers have been pushing for a TikTok ban
  • They are concerned about its parent company's ties to China
  • Bill makes it unlawful for companies to host apps by 'foreign adversaries'

(NewsNation) — A bipartisan group of House lawmakers are introducing what is effectively a bill banning TikTok on Tuesday, sources tell NewsNation.

While the bill isn’t limited to TikTok, it would include the social media platform among entities that would be banned, including its parent company ByteDance.

The legislation makes it unlawful for American app platforms to offer any apps that are operated by foreign adversaries like China, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Lawmakers define this as one of these countries having at least 20% “operational authority” over the app, as well as if a company’s headquarters is within an adversary’s borders.

Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., are spearheading the effort, which has gained growing support from other legislators.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has previously been grilled in Congressional hearings, and the app has been banned on U.S. government devices over national security concerns.

The issue for lawmakers and national security experts are ByteDance and its links to China.

Meanwhile, TikTok has already tried to address these concerns by taking measures such as storing American users’ app data on servers in the United States.

Support for a national TikTok ban is starting to wane, though: the percentage of U.S. adults taking part in a a Pew Research Center survey who say they would support a ban declined from 50% in March to 38%. It’s even lower among teens, of which only 15% surveyed said they would back such legislation.

Republican and GOP-leaning adults are much more likely to favor a ban than Democrats, according to Pew.

Critics of laws restricting TikTok include the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which argues such bans are violations of free speech and academic freedom.

Tech

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