The US house panel, or the U.S House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 1 gave President Joe Biden the authority to ban Chinese owned TikTok which is the biggest restriction the US has ever done of any social media platform.
The app is currently used by more than 100 million Americans but is considered a huge security risk.
“Tik Tok is a national security threat… It is time to act. Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into their phone,” said Rep Michael McCaul, the Republican chair of the committee who sponsored the bill at the US house panel.
Nikkei Asia reports that Democrats opposed the bill, saying it was rushed and required due diligence through consultation with experts. The bill does not say how the ban will work but gives Biden the power to ban any transactions with Tik Tok which means anyone in the United States will be preventing from accessing or using it.
US house panel and The Dems
The Democratic Party however is against the ban and the bill will need to be passed by the full house and the US Senate which is controlled by Biden.
“A U.S ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion people who use our services worldwide.”
Democrat Rep Gregory Meeks said that while he strongly opposes the legislation he understands the concerns about TikTok.
“The Republican instinct to ban things it fears, from books to speech, appears uninhibited.” Meeks described the bill as dangerously broad.
In an ABC news report a TikTok spokesperson said, “A U.S ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.
“We’re disappointed to see this rushed piece of legislation move forward, despite its considerable negative impact on the free speech rights of millions of American who use and love TikTok,” said TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter.
The White press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing that it’s not clear if Biden has legal authority to issue a nationwide ban despite the US house panel decision.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics on what he has legally to do so to not do so what I’m saying and we’ve been very clear, that TikTok, you know poses a problem and an issue and so we have concerns about that as it relates to American data collecting that poses a potential national security risk,” she said.
NOTE: Image of President Joe Biden poses for his official portrait Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in the Library of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz, from Wikipedia).