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Senate TikTok Bill Endorsed By White House, Urging Swift Passage By Congress



Senate TikTok Bill Endorsed By White House, Urging Swift Passage By Congress

(CTN News) – Using a bipartisan Senate bill, the Biden administration could ban TikTok in the U.S. with the White House’s support.

A foreign adversary may be interested in deals, software updates or data transfers by information and communications technology. Chinese internet giant ByteDance owns TikTok, which allows kids to create and share short videos in the U.S.

If the Commerce secretary deems a transaction to pose “undue and unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security, the president can take action, including forced divestment.

It’s called the RESTRICT Act, which stands for Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats to Information and Communications Technologies.

Senators from both parties cosponsored the legislation with Senate Intelligence Committee chairmark Warner, D-Va. The White House endorsed the bill in a press briefing.

In a statement, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the bill would give the government new tools to mitigate national security risks related to technology.

Congress should send the bill to the president quickly, Sullivan said.

It would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, as well as systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern.

TikTok did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment Tuesday.

Warner’s bill has risen to the top of a growing list of congressional proposals to ban thanks to Sullivan’s statement.

The House of Representatives has not yet passed a companion bill to Warner’s legislation as of Tuesday. However, Warner told CNBC that he has received “a lot of interest” from Democrats and Republicans.

Asked who he and Republican co-sponsor Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., might seek help from in the House, Warner replied, “I am very satisfied with the interest we have received from some House members.”

A comprehensive approach will be provided by the RESTRICT Act, Warner explained to reporters.

Those numbers may surpass 100 million monthly active users in the United States in 2020.

Since ByteDance acquired in 2017, which was a precursor to the popular video-sharing app, the company has been under scrutiny by the United States Committee on Foreign Relations.

Unfortunately, this process has stalled, leaving lawmakers and administration officials impatient to deal with what they perceive to be a critical national security threat. In its response, TikTok has maintained that the best course of action is for CFIUS to approve a new risk mitigation strategy.

“The Biden Administration does not require additional authority from Congress to address national security concerns about TikTok: it can approve the deal it has been reviewing for the past six months, which was negotiated over two years with CFIUS,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said before the bill text was released.

In TikTok’s view, an American ban would impede the export of American values and culture to the billions of people around the world who use the service. Congress should explore solutions to its national security concerns that won’t censor the voices of millions of Americans.”

In a speech on Monday, TikTok’s interim security officer Will Farrell outlined the layered approach the company plans to take to mitigate the risk of Chinese government interference.

Oracle’s Project Texas would involve hosting its data in the cloud, requiring strict access procedures, and even sending vetted code directly to app stores.

TikTok’s commitments will lead to “unprecedented transparency” for a tech company like TikTok.


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