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US lawmakers unveil bipartisan bid to ban Chinese TikTok

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WASHINGTON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday announced bipartisan legislation to ban popular Chinese social media app TikTok, mounting pressure on owner ByteDance Ltd amid US fears the app could be used to spy on Americans and censor content.

The legislation would block all transactions by any social media company in or under the influence of China and Russia, Rubio’s office said in a news release, adding that a supplementary bill in the states’ House of Representatives United was sponsored by Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorti.

“It is concerning that instead of encouraging the administration to wrap up its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically motivated ban that will do nothing to advance US national security,” he said. called TikTok. the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the company will continue to brief members of Congress on plans that are “well underway” to “further secure our platform in the United States.”

The bill comes as scrutiny over TikTok has grown in Washington in recent weeks after a failed attempt by the Trump administration to ban the video-sharing app.

In a hearing last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said TikTok’s US operations raise national security concerns, signaling the risk that the Chinese government could exploit it to influence users or control their devices.

Alabama and Utah on Monday joined other US states in banning the use of TikTok on state government devices and computer networks due to national security concerns.

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked use of the apps in the US, but he lost a series of court battles over the measure.

The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful national security body, ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok in 2020 due to fears that US users’ data could be passed on to the communist government Chinese.

CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for months with the goal of reaching a national security agreement to protect the data of TikTok’s more than 100 million users.

(This story was re-archived to correct the spelling of ‘censor’ in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Alexandra Hudson and Marguerita Choy)