Biden gets new authority to ban TikTok, other Chinese-owned apps that pose security risks
washington,UPDATED: March 7, 2023 07:03 IST
By Reuters: Two U.S. senators said Monday that their efforts to combat foreign technology threats are moving forward and that they will make the president public on Tuesday Joe Biden’s administration has received new powers to ban the Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other applications that may pose a security risk.
A White House spokesman told Reuters the administration was “cooperating with Congress” but declined to say whether it would support Senate legislation.
TikTok has faced growing opposition amid fears that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will appear before Congress on March 23.
Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, John Thune, a Republican, and others plan to unveil the latest proposals Tuesday to give the administration new tools to ban the ByteDance-owned app, which is used by more than 100 million Americans.
READ MORE | US House panel approves bill authorizing President Joe Biden to ban TikTok
The bill is titled the “Restricting Security Threats to Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act” and “comprehensively addresses the continuing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries such as TikTok,” Warner’s office said.
The administration agreed to the senators’ bill, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The White House declined to say whether it would support the Senate bill.
Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted cross-party on a bill sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul that would authorize Biden to ban TikTok after President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban TikTok and WeChat in 2020 were thwarted by the courts.
Democrats opposed McCaul’s bill, saying it was rushed and needed due diligence through debate and consultation with experts. Some major bills targeting China, such as the chip funding bill, took 18 months to win approval. McCaul said he believes the full U.S. House of Representatives could vote on the bill this month.
TikTok said last week that a U.S. ban on the app would “prohibit the export of American culture and values to the billions of people who use our service around the world.”
READ MORE | After India, TikTok is banned in this country for national security reasons
The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), a powerful national security body, unanimously recommended that ByteDance spin off TikTok in 2020 over concerns that user data could end up with the Chinese government.
TikTok and CFIUS have been negotiating data security requirements for more than two years. TikTok has said it has spent more than $1.5 billion on rigorous data security efforts and rejects allegations of espionage.