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TikTok – TikTok
2024-03-14

            It seems that time is running out for the popular social media app known as TikTok.

            The House of Representatives voted to pass the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act by a vote of 352-65 on Wednesday.  President Biden has already indicated that he will sign it. 

            In 2022, President Biden signed a law prohibiting TikTok on government devices except for certain law enforcement-related reasons.

            Now, it's up to the Senate to decide.

            Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and vice chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued a joint statement, writing: "We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok — a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party."

            If it is made into law the owner of TikTok, ByteDance, will be forced to sell the app within six months or face it being banned in the United States. Additionally, the bill would authorize the president to prohibit apps linked to Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China. 

            To do that, government agencies must agree on the threat and must make evidence available to Congress.

            ByteDance is reportedly tied to the Chinese Communist Party.  With the elevated national security concerns of data theft, election interference, and spreading false information to spread unrest, it is hoped the bill will curtail those concerns.

            The intent is to allow TikTok to continue to operate but not under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.

            The Chinese government has spoken out against U.S. proposals to restrict or restructure TikTok.  That is odd considering that the People's Republic of China outright bans Facebook, X (Twitter), and heavily censors Internet providers – including their own.

            But there are some in the Senate who think that if passed, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act will give the president the power to ban websites, not just apps, and raises some First Amendment issues.

            I don't know what I will miss without TikTok because I have never used it. But there are plenty of folks who say they rely on it.  For them, there should be concern.

            So, if the Chinese Communist Party is indeed using TikTok to steal information or influence Americans, then this is one way to deflate more than 100 million spy balloons that are installed on American phones.


 

 

 

 

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