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Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown

14 Mar 2024

2 DK READ

18 Read.

TikTok Ban Moves Closer as House Passes Bill

The House has voted to advance legislation that could potentially ban TikTok in the United States over national security concerns related to its Chinese owner ByteDance. The bill now heads to the Senate where its future is less certain.

In a 352-65 vote on Wednesday, representatives approved a bill that would prohibit federal employees from downloading TikTok on government-issued devices. It would also ban the app from being downloaded on devices issued by government contractors. If enacted, the bill could force ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company or risk being shut down in the country.

Supporters argue that TikTok’s ties to China present an unacceptable risk. As a Chinese company, ByteDance is subject to laws compelling assistance with intelligence work. They believe users’ data could be accessed by the Chinese government if requested. However, TikTok maintains that it has never shared U.S. user data with Chinese authorities and would not do so.

TikTokBan Closer as House Acts on Security Fears

TikTok

The popular video app TikTok is in the crosshairs once more as lawmakers move forward with legislation that could block its use in the US. The bill cites national security concerns over the platform’s Chinese ownership. But enacting a ban won’t be simple.

Over 170 million Americans use TikTok to create and share short videos. But its parent company ByteDance is based in China, requiring cooperation with requests from authorities there. The bill aims to compel the sale of TikTok to a US owner or face being shut down nationally.

While the House passed the bill, its future in the evenly split Senate is less certain. Supporters argue the ties to China present too great a risk, but critics say an outright ban goes too far and may not withstand legal challenges. For now, the debate around TikTok’s role in America and how to address security issues continues intensifying in Washington.

With the issue now before the Senate, negotiations are likely to ensue over potential amendments or alternative approaches. Opponents of a ban will push for less drastic actions like tightened oversight of the app instead. How the issue is ultimately resolved could set important precedents for balancing national security and free expression online.

TikTok Ban Moves Closer as House Passes Bill