US House of Representatives Committee will vote next month on the possibility of banning TikTok

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration, taken August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote next month on a bill to block the use of popular Chinese social media app TikTok in the United States, the committee said. confirmed on Friday.

The measure, planned by the committee chair, Representative Michael McCaul, a Republican, is intended to give the White House the legal tools to ban TikTok over national security concerns. country of the United States.

“The concern is that this app gives the Chinese government a backdoor into our phones,” McCaul told Bloomberg News, which had reported on the timing of the vote earlier.

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump tried to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked the use of the app in the United States, but lost a battle. series of lawsuits about this measure.

The Biden administration in June 2021 officially abandoned that effort. Then in December, Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced bipartisan legislation banning TikTok, which would also block all transactions from any social media company within or under Chinese influence. Country and Russia.

But the ban on the short video app, which is owned by ByteDance and popular with teenagers, will face significant hurdles in Congress to get it through and will require 60 votes in the Senate.

For three years, TikTok – which has more than 100 million users in the US – has sought to assure Washington that the personal data of US citizens cannot be accessed and its content cannot be hacked. Chinese property or anyone else under Beijing’s influence.

TikTok said Friday “calls for outright bans on TikTok taking a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues such as privacy.” data, privacy and online harms.”

The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful national security agency, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to divest from TikTok over concerns that US user data States can be transferred to the Chinese government.

CFIUS and TikTok have been negotiating since 2021, aiming to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of TikTok users in the United States.

TikTok says it has a “comprehensive package of measures with multiple layers of government and independent oversight to ensure that no backdoors into TikTok can be used to manipulate the platform” and has invested about $1.5 billion so far for those efforts.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on the bill on Friday. “It’s under (CFIUS) review so I won’t go into details on that,” Jean-Pierre said.

Last month, Biden signed legislation that included a ban on federal employees from using or downloading TikTok on government-owned devices. More than 25 US states have also banned the use of TikTok on state-owned devices.


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