Biden To Ban Popular Social Media App

Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday a bipartisan group of senators introduced a new sweeping bill that would enable the federal government to regulate and potentially prohibit foreign-produced technology, including TikTok.

The bill called the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, or RESTRICT Act, would provide the Secretary of commerce with the power to regulate tech that has been produced in one of the following six different countries: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.

On Tuesday the White House endorsed this bill, stating that it is “a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans.”

The bill does not specifically refer to TikTok, despite the senators who introduced it making references to the social media app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. TikTok is a popular platform across the world and in the U.K. and its algorithm can help gather information which is then supplied to Beijing.

Sen. John Thune, R-N.D., during a news conference, said that TikTok is widely recognized as a national security threat. He added that he is concerned about the platform’s actual connection to the Chinese Communist Party. Thune, a member of Republican leadership and a senior member of the Commerce Committee, has co-sponsored the bill along with Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner, D-Va. The legislation has 10 co-sponsors total, 5 from each party.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, sent an email to the Biden administration informing them that they would already oversee the app through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS. They added that a ban on the platform would also be against U.S. interests.

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