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U.S. House Passes Bill Requiring ByteDance to Sell TikTok or Face Ban

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U.S. House Passes Bill Requiring ByteDance to Sell TikTok or Face Ban

The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday afternoon requiring TikTok owner ByteDance to sell the popular social media app or face its prohibition in the United States.

Attempts to prohibit TikTok date back to the Trump administration, but the subject has been renewed in recent months. The House passed a similar bill in March, but the Senate has shown little enthusiasm for it.

This new version extends ByteDance’s opportunity to sell TikTok to nine months (up from six months in the previous bill), and allows the president to give a single, extra 90-day extension.

It appears that the change has pleased some Senate skeptics. Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) urged extending the deadline to increase the likelihood of divestment.

US House Approves Bill that would ban TikTok Nationwide Whats Next in Senate

National Security Concerns and TikTok’s Response

The new bill was approved 360-58, with many Republicans and Democrats voting in favor. It is part of a broader package that includes international funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan and was most likely inserted to help House Speaker Mike Johnson gain more conservative support.

The Senate is expected to vote on the package this week, and President Joe Biden has indicated his support and willingness to approve it. If this occurs, TikTok is anticipated to contest the measure in court.

Biden’s administration has been briefing senators on the app’s national security dangers, claiming that it serves as both a source of data on American users for the Chinese government and a channel for that same agency to spread propaganda to Americans.

House Foreign Affairs Committee head Michael McCaul (R-Texas) labeled the software as “a spy balloon in Americans’ phones” designed to “surveil and exploit America’s personal information.”

When a TikTok bill was reintroduced earlier this week, the company issued a statement claiming that the House is using “important foreign and humanitarian assistance” to push through a ban bill that would violate the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, harm 7 million businesses, and shut down the platform.

Civil liberties groups, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union, have rejected prior attempts to prohibit the software.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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