Bill to ban TikTok in the US unveiled by Marco Rubio, Mike Gallagher – USA TODAY

A handful of American lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, announced bipartisan legislation on Tuesday that would ban China’s social media app TikTok in the U.S.
The move adds pressure on the video-sharing app’s owner, ByteDance, amid fears among some in the U.S. that the app could be used to spy on Americans or censor content.
According to a news release from Rubio’s office, the legislation would block all transactions from any social media company in or under the influence of a “country of concern,” like China and Russia.
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” the Florida senator released in a statement. “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.”
Is TikTok the new Google? Why TikTok is Gen Z’s favorite search engine
A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was sponsored by Rep.Mike Gallagher (R.-Wis.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D.-Ill.), the release said.
“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news,” Gallagher said in a statement.
U.S. inflation:Inflation slowed sharply but stayed high in November. Here’s what to know about latest CPI report.
Trump in trouble:Republican support for his 2024 bid falls amid political, legal setbacks
A TikTok representative released a statement to USA TODAY Tuesday night calling the proposed legislation “politically motivated” and encouraging elected officials to let the security review of TikTok play out before enacting new laws.
“TikTok is loved by millions of Americans who use the platform to learn, grow their businesses, and connect with creative content that brings them joy,” said Brooke Oberwetter, a TikTok spokesperson. “We will continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies – plans that we are well underway in implementing – to further secure our platform in the United States.”
While there has been much debate about whether the Chinese government is actively collecting TikTok data, the app poses a clear vulnerability, Trenchcoat Advisors co-founder Holden Triplett, a former FBI government official who worked in Beijing and counterintelligence, told the Associated Press. Because TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, is a Chinese company, it would have to comply with any potential requests from Chinese security and intelligence requests to hand over data, which could include employee’s location and contacts, he said.
Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said TikTok’s operations in the U.S. raises national security concerns, adding that he was “extremely concerned” Beijing could weaponize data collected through TikTok.
TikTok has been in discussions for months with the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to reach an agreement to protect app users’ data, Reuters reported.
The latest bill comes on the heels of a failed bid by former President Donald Trump’s administration to ban the app. More recently, some states, like South Dakota and Maryland, have taken measures to ban the app from state government devices.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *