Sen. Mark Warner (D-V.) and other U.S. senators said at a press conference in Washington’s Capitol Hill in March that the Biden administration would “use foreign technology products such as the Chinese-owned video app TikTok.” announced a bill that would allow it to ban or ban. July 7, 2023.
Bonnie Cash | Reuters
the white house is new Bipartisan Senate Bill On Tuesday, it gave the Biden administration the power to ban TikTok in the United States.
The Act authorizes the Department of Commerce to review information and communications technology transactions, software updates, or data transfers of interest to foreign adversaries. His TikTok, which has become a viral sensation in the US by allowing children to create and share short videos, is owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance.
Under the new proposal, if the Secretary of Commerce determines that a transaction poses “undue or unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security, it could be referred to the President for action, including a forced sale.
The bill is called the RESTRICT Act and stands for limiting the occurrence of security threats that endanger information and communication technology.
Senator Mark WarnerD-Va., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with a bipartisan group of Senate co-sponsors, formally unveiled the bill on Capitol Hill. The White House released a statement publicly supporting the bill during Warner’s briefing to reporters.
“This bill provides a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the safety and security of Americans,” said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. In a statement, it added that it would give the government new tools to mitigate national security risks in the tech sector.
Sullivan urged Congress to “act quickly to get the bill to the President’s desk.”
“It is vitally important that we address the individual risks posed by individual transactions, as well as the systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of interest in sensitive technology areas,” Sullivan said. We will strengthen our capacity,” he said.
A TikTok spokesperson did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Tuesday.
Sullivan’s statement marks the first time in Congress that the TikTok bill has received explicit support from the Biden administration, pushing Warner’s bill to the top of the list of congressional proposals to ban TikTok.
As of Tuesday, the House did not yet have a relevant version of Warner’s bill. But Warner told CNBC that he’s already gotten “a lot of interest” from both Democrats and Republicans in the House.
Warner did not disclose who he and Republican co-sponsor Sen. John Thune, RS.D. We are very pleased with the level of interest,” he added. of our House colleagues. “
early this month, House Foreign Relations Committee Passes If passed, the bill would force the president to impose sanctions on Chinese companies that may expose personal data of Americans to foreign adversaries.
But unlike Warner’s bill, the House bill, known as the DATA Act, does not have a Democratic co-sponsor, complicating its prospects in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Senators who introduced the bill on Tuesday stressed that their law does not single out individual companies, unlike some other proposals. It aims to create new frameworks and legal processes.
“The RESTRICT Act is not just about TikTok,” Warner told reporters.
A new Senate bill defines foreign adversaries as six governments: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba. It also said it applies to information and communication technology services that have more than one million US-based annual active users or have sold at least one million units to US customers in the past year.
It could well surpass TikTok in 2020. The number of monthly active users in the US is said to be 100 million..
The company is being reviewed by the U.S. Commission on Foreign Relations, stemming from ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, the predecessor of the popular video-sharing app.
But that process has stalled, and lawmakers and government officials are impatient to address what they see as a significant national security risk. TikTok claims CFIUS approval of a new risk mitigation strategy is the best path forward.
“The Biden administration does not need additional powers from Congress to address national security concerns about TikTok. You can,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in an earlier statement. The text of the bill has been published.
“The U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on exporting American culture and values to the more than one billion people who use our services around the world,” the company said. “I hope Congress will seek solutions to national security concerns that do not have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans.”
Will Farrell, TikTok’s interim security chief, said in a speech Monday about the layered approach the company plans to mitigate the risk that the Chinese government could interfere with its operations in the United States. explained
In the so-called Project Texas, Oracle They host their data in the cloud, have strict procedures on how to access that information, and even submit vetted code directly to the mobile app stores where users find their services.
Farrell said TikTok’s commitment would bring an “unprecedented amount of transparency” to such technology companies.
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