New US legislation could lead to TikTok being banned nationwide
Concerns that the platform is a tool for Chinese espionage have led to the bill being drafted.
Image: Ascannio / Alamy
New legislation in the United States may lead to President Joe Biden implementing a nationwide ban on TikTok.
The proposal, which was written up by The House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggests that the social media platform may be used as a Chinese espionage tool, and could cause a nationwide security risk.
Although the legislation is still far from being passed, members of both the Republican and Democratic parties have voted the bill through and called for a ban on the video-sharing app.
The concerns mainly centre around the Chinese ownership of the platform – which means the company is legally obligated to submit all user data to the Chinese government upon request.
So far, Canada, the European Union and over 30 American States have banned TikTok from being used on government-owned devices. Additionally, in 2021, India introduced a complete nationwide ban on the app. The following year, both Taiwan and Afghanistan did the same.
Up until now, twenty-four Republicans have voted in favour of the ban, claiming that the tool may threaten US security.
Sixteen Democrats meanwhile voted in opposition – with many claiming that the legislation would contradict the First Amendment, the right to freedom of speech.
“[This legislation would] damage our allegiances across the globe,” said Democratic Ranking Member Gregory Meeks in a new statement (via The Independent).
“[It would] bring more companies into China’s sphere, destroy jobs here in the United States and undercut core American values of free speech and free enterprise.”
In order to be passed onto President Biden and officially made into law, the bill still needs to be passed by a full House of Representatives and the Senate.
According to Michael McCaul, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the upcoming vote to determine the future of TikTok is expected to take place later this month.
There are currently no plans to restrict the use of the platform in the UK.
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