Two U.S. senators said their efforts to tackle foreign technology threats were advancing and they unveiled legislation aimed at granting President Joe Biden’s administration new powers to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other apps that could pose security risks. >> Full story
- And then… White House said it supports that bill on Tuesday (NBC News)
- Go deeper: Why ban TikTok? A good explain from Bloomberg Law
- How TikTok has fought to keep from being banned by the liberal-leaning website Vox
- The case against: The American Civil Liberties Union says a ban would curb free speech
Jonathan: A bill backed by both Democrats and Republicans may mean the end of TikTok here in the United States. Our Washington correspondent Angie has more.
Sound: Gavel banging
Angie: It’s rare that Democrats and Republicans can agree on anything these days – but one issue is bringing them together: the possibility of banning TikTok.
This week, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would give the President authority to ban TikTok – and any other apps he deems a threat to national security.
This is all because TikTok is owned by a Chinese company.
The Chinese government has much more control over companies based there – and more access to their data.
Sound: “100 million Americans, 90 minutes a day…”
Democratic Senator Mark Warner is chair of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee.
Sound: “I absolutely believe that China, with its authoritarian values dominating those technologies, is not in the national security interest of our country, or for that matter, people across the world who don’t live in authoritarian regimes.”
TikTok said a ban would stifle free speech and hurt the export of American culture worldwide.
The White House said yesterday it supports the bill—but even if it passes, that doesn’t mean TikTok is banned.
In fact, experts say a complete ban would be unprecedented – and unlikely.
Sound: “It’s extremely difficult to imagine TikTok or any app of this scale being banned across the United States. There are a number of problems that are associated with the government doing that, not the least of which is, it’s sort of unprecedented in terms of there’s been no other app like this that has reached this level of popularity that has suddenly become banned in the United States. So I think practically, it’s extremely difficult and probably unlikely.
The issue isn’t going away though – and TikTok’s CEO is scheduled to testify before Congress on March 22.