Could TikTok be in jeopardy of being banned in the U.S.? This wouldn’t be the first time the United States government has attempted this. Back when it first took off in 2020, there was huge speculation over the Chinese App. This of course was during the thick of the pandemic when nobody left their homes and was on TikTok all day. Ahh, good times.
3 years later, the Republicans are back pushing new legislation to ban it nationally again. A House committee voted on Wednesday to block U.S. activity on the app used by more than 100 million Americans. They believe TikTok poses a national security risk. On Tuesday, the White House gave all federal agencies 30 days to delete the app from government devices.
Currently, Democrats are taking a more reserved approach. This will have to change to pass the bill through the Senate. The law mandates the Treasury Secretary to release a decree that forbids Americans from engaging in business dealings with entities that may transfer sensitive personal information to Chinese government-directed or influenced entities.
Additionally, it grants the President the authority to impose penalties on specific transactions involving controlled software applications that contribute to China’s intelligence activities, censorship, or surveillance activities. The President has the power to exempt specific sanctions and to determine whether TikTok or any of its associated firms fulfill the criteria for sanctions. TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter has this to say:
“U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”
The bill could violate the First Amendment. In a letter sent on Monday, The American Civil Liberties Union detailed constitutional concerns with the measure. More details to follow, but it seems quite unlikely as of now it will be banned.