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House Passes Bill to Ban TikTok in the US

Amid rising concerns over national security and data privacy, the House’s recent approval of a bill targeting TikTok’s future in the United States has ignited intense debate and uncertainty.

Bill Moves Into Senate

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With bipartisan support backing measures to either force a sale or enact a de facto ban, the fate of the popular social media app now rests on Senate deliberations.

This promises significant implications for both users and the tech industry at large.

House Approval and Potential Outcome

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The House approved a bill on March 13 that would either compel the parent company of TikTok to sell the app or impose a de facto ban in the U.S.

The bill garnered strong bipartisan support, passing with a vote of 352 to 65.

National Security Concerns and Chinese Ties

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Lawmakers cite fears over Chinese influence, as ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, could compromise Americans’ user data.

The FBI and FCC warned that the social media platform might be sharing location and browsing history with Chinese authorities.

TikTok’s Defense and Data Storage

Credits: DepositPhotos – Smart phone with TIK TOK logo, which is a popular social network on the internet.United States, Canada, Wednesday, November 27, 2020 — Photo by Daniel.Constante

In response, TikTok stated that they securely stored the user data of all Americans. Legislators, however, continue to doubt their statements.

TikTok Launches Lobbying Campaign

Credits: DepositPhotos – KYIV, UKRAINE-JANUARY, 2020: Tiktok on Mobile Phone Screen. Tiktok is a Chinese Video-Sharing Social Networking Service Used to Create Comedy, and Talent Videos. 3D Illustration. CloseUp. — Photo by tashatuvango

The social media platform initiated a lobbying campaign urging users to oppose the bill. However, it remains to be seen how effective these measures are.

Trump’s Intervention

Credits: Depositphotos – 12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018. ” — Photo by gints.ivuskans

Former President Trump opposed the bill, arguing about its potential ramifications for social media competition.

On Truth Social, he wrote, “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business.”

Legislative Process

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Following unanimous committee approval, the bill’s swift progression through the House is quite notable during the current logjam.

Progressives Concerned

Credits: DepositPhotos – Senator Schumer Says He Will Put Short-Term Government Funding Bill On Senate Floor Tuesday. January 14, 2024, New York, New York, USA: Senate Majority Leader, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announces he will bring legislation to the Senate — Photo by thenews2.com

Despite bipartisan backing, lawmakers, especially progressives such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, persist with concerns about stifling freedom of expression and economic repercussions.

Trump’s Previous Attempt and Legal Hurdles

Credits: DepositPhotos – Donald J. Trump at CPAC Covention Protecting America Now in Maryland. March 04, 2023, Maryland, USA: The former President of USA, Donald J. Trump at the CPAC convention Protecting America Now — Photo by thenews2.com

The courts blocked Trump’s earlier attempt to ban TikTok, citing inadequate consideration of alternative measures and their legal implications.

Feedback From Senators

Credits: DepositPhotos – LAS VEGAS – APRIL 11 :Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul speaks during a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 11 2015 — Photo by kobbydagan

Some on the Republican side, such as Sen. Rand Paul, said Monday that he would block speedy passage in the Senate because it “violates the First Amendment rights of 180 million Americans.”

However, others, like Sen. Josh Hawley, batted for banning the platform.

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