Lawmakers Re-introduce Bill to Ban TikTok in the United States

TikTok’s days in the United States could be numbered under a bipartisan bill re-introduced by the heads of congress’ new Committee on China.

Reps Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08) on Friday submitted the legislation, which would ban the controversial video-sharing app from operating in the United States.

The lawmakers gave their bill a long name, calling it the “Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act.

ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act for short.

It would protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from TikTok and any other social media company in, or under the control of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern, according to a press release.

“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party – America’s foremost adversary,” said Gallagher, who chairs the House’s Committee on China. “Allowing the app to continue to operate in the U.S. would be like allowing the U.S.S.R. to buy up the New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast networks during the Cold War.

“No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”

ByteDance, is required by Chinese law to make the app’s data available to the Chinese Communist Party. FBI Director Christopher Wray, Federal Communications Commission commissioners, and cybersecurity experts have warned that TikTok presents a risk of being used to spy on Americans.

The re-introduction of the legislation comes on the heels of what U.S. officials have described as a Chinese spy balloon discovered flying for days over U.S. airspace. U.S. fighter jets eventually shot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean. CCP government officials claim the object was a weather balloon.

“At a time when the Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad are seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance, it is imperative that we do not allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against us,” said Krishnamoorthi, Ranking Member of the Committee on China. “The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act is a strong step in protecting our nation from the nefarious digital surveillance and influence operations of totalitarian regimes. Recent revelations surrounding the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the urgency of protecting Americans from these risks before it’s too late.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced the bipartisan Senate companion to the legislation last week.

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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Mike Gallagher” by Rep. Mike Gallagher. Photo “Raja Krishnamoorthi” by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Background Photo “TikTok” by Solen Feyissa. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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