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A bipartisan Senate bill to ban TikTok is coming this week

A bill being introduced this week aims to ban certain foreign technology.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Bipartisan legislation set to be introduced this week could potentially lead to a ban on certain foreign technologies including the Chinese social media app TikTok.

On Sunday, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who is also the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced the upcoming bill during an interview on Fox News.

“This week I’ve got a broad, bipartisan bill that I’m launching with my friend John Thune, who will be the Republican lead, where we’re going to say ‘in terms of foreign technology coming into America, we’ve got to have a systemic approach to ban or prohibit it when necessary.’”

When questioned over whether TikTok could get placed on the chopping block, Warner confirmed that the popular video-sharing app was not off the table.

“That means TikTok is one of the potentials. Listen, TikTok is not only… you have 100 million Americans on TikTok 90 minutes a day. Even you guys would like that kind of return, 90 minutes a day,” Warner said to the Fox News host. “They are taking data from Americans, not keeping it safe, but what worries me more with TikTok is that this could be a propaganda tool.”

Warner’s announcement comes as TikTok faces growing pushback in the U.S. due to its data practices and ties to the Chinese government.

Just last week, Republicans on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favor of legislation that would give the president the power to ban any technology, including TikTok, deemed to be a threat to national security. The bill, which still need to pass the House and the Democrat-controlled Senate, was opposed by all Democrats on the committee.

The Biden administration last week also gave federal agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all government devices including phones and laptops. Similar government bans have been introduced in more than 30 U.S. states, in Canada, and in European institutions.

Although no details on Warner and Thune’s upcoming bill have been released, Reuters has reported that the bipartisan duo is expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday.

While such restrictions are popular among conservative lawmakers and a handful of Democrats, civil liberties groups and the countless Americans that use the app are largely opposed.

Groups such as the ACLU, for example, have called attempts to ban TikTok “a serious violation of our First Amendment rights.”

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