US to ban TikTok

A trio of US lawmakers has introduced new legislation that aims to ban TikTok from operating in the United States. The new bill by Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan pair of congressmen in the House, reflects the latest escalation by US policymakers against the Chinese-owned short-form video app. TikTok has faced doubts about its ability to safeguard US user data from the Chinese government. The proposed legislation would “block and prohibit all transactions” in the United States by social media companies with at least one million monthly users that are based in, or under the “substantial influence” of, countries that are considered foreign adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The bill specifically names TikTok and its parent, ByteDance, as social media companies for the purposes of the legislation. Rubio and one of the House sponsors of the bill, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, had indicated their intention to introduce the bill in a Washington Post op-ed last month. Already, the US military, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have restricted TikTok from devices under their control.

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