Senators introduce bill that could lead to TikTok US ban

Bill is not an outright ban on TikTok, but it could lead to the action should federal regulators deem it necessary

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan pair of high-ranking US senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would give federal authorities the power to ban TikTok and other technology companies over their alleged threats to national security.

Mark Warner, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John Thune, the top ranking Republican on the Commerce Committee, are leading a coalition of 12 bipartisan senators in support of the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act.

The legislation would enable the secretary of commerce to review and take action against information technologies, products and services from foreign adversaries — listed in the bill as China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela — that “pose undue risk to our national security,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

“The threat that everyone is talking about is TikTok, and how it could enable surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party, or facilitate the spread of malign influence campaigns in the U.S. Before TikTok, however, it was Huawei and ZTE, which threatened our nation’s telecommunications networks. And before that, it was Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, which threatened the security of government and corporate devices,” Warner said.

“We need a comprehensive, risk-based approach that proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America, so we aren’t playing Whac-A-Mole and scrambling to catch up once they’re already ubiquitous,” he added.

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