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US lawmakers to move forward with the plan to impose nationwide ban on TikTok

According to The Guardian, the US lawmakers are moving forward with their plan to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok, just days after its CEO, Shou Zi Chew, was grilled before a Congressional committee in Washington. The lawmakers are concerned about the app’s potential national security risks and allege that the Chinese government has access to users’ data.

The US House of Representatives speaker, Kevin McCarthy, announced on Twitter that the House will be moving ahead with legislation to protect Americans from the ‘technological tentacles’ of the Chinese Communist Party.

Although the legislation has largely received bipartisan support, Democrat leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez protested against the ban on TikTok, calling it an unprecedented move in the history of the United States, in a lengthy monologue posted on the platform.

Citing TikTok as a ‘high risk’ security concern, the Biden administration has demanded that the Chinese owner of the app sell their stake or risk getting banned. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) has approached ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and asked for divestment over national security concerns.

During the Congressional hearing, committee members asked Shou how frequently he was in contact with the Chinese government and questioned whether TikTok’s proposed solution, Project Texas, would offer sufficient protection against Chinese laws, under which Chinese companies make user data accessible to the CCP government.

Shou responded that TikTok is a global platform headquartered in Singapore and Los Angeles and is not available in mainland China. TikTok has spent over $1.5 billion on data security efforts under Project Texas to satisfy the US government’s concerns.

However, the lawmakers appear to be unmoved. Last year, in December, the Chinese short-video app was banned from all federal government devices across the country, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned against data leaks through the app. FBI Director Christopher Wray informed the House panel that potential Chinese government access to users’ data or software through the app is a cause for ‘extreme concern.’


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