Congress Proposes Total Ban Of TikTok

( TikTok has been getting a lot of attention recently, and it hasn’t been good attention.

Many Biden administration officials as well as politicians from both sides of the aisle have said recently they are very concerned about the national security concerns that the social media app presents to the United States.

On Tuesday, three Congress members put forth new legislation that would institute a complete ban on TikTok in the United States. The bill, dubbed the Anti-Social CCP Act, was introduced by a bipartisan group — Illinois Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, Wisconsin Republican Representative Mike Gallagher and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

The bill isn’t written just for TikTok, but would certainly include TikTok.

If passed, it would ban any social media platform that is owned by a company that’s based in Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Russia or China from operating within the United States.

In recent weeks, many Congress members have expressed various concerns about the app’s policies of collecting user data. FBI Director Christopher Wray has said multiple times over the last few months that he is similarly concerned about the data collection as well as the chance for the Chinese Communist Party to control what users see on the app.

Many states have already taken matters into their own hands, banning any government employee from downloading TikTok to their state-owned cellphones.

In a statement after the bill was announced, Rubio said:

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”

Former President Donald Trump essentially tried to do just this when, in 2020, he banned all Americans from communicating with ByteDance, the Chinese-based parent company of TikTok. Federal judges ultimately overturned those executive orders, though, and then President Joe Biden rescinded them last year

There’s a ton of user data that TikTok captures of its users. This includes voiceprints, face prints and other biometric information. Earlier in 2021, TikTok paid a settlement of $92 million for violating a state law in Illinois that regulates the collection of biometric data collection.

Company executives have consistently claimed that TikTok’s information isn’t accessible by the Chinese government, that simply isn’t true. Buzzfeed has reported that if the Communist government asks for it, ByteDance would be required to share the data with them.

As Gallagher said in the statement announcing the bill:

“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.”