The Biden administration is endorsing the swift passage of bipartisan legislation that would help “ban or prohibit” foreign technology, including the Chinese social media app TikTok.
For the first time weighing in on legislation targeting foreign technology, President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, issued a statement saying, “We applaud the bipartisan group of senators” who introduced the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act.
“We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk,” Sullivan added.
NEW: White House backs new bipartisan push on TikTok, the Restrict Act.
“We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk.” pic.twitter.com/WYzhyHeEcp
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) March 7, 2023
The legislation introduced on Tuesday by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) would empower the Secretary of Commerce to “ban or prohibit” foreign technology from six foreign adversary nations from coming into the United States, which would ultimately include TikTok’s China-based parent company.
Over the weekend on Fox News Sunday, Warner said that the legislation would create a “systemic approach” to ban or prohibit foreign technology coming into America when necessary. And while it does not directly target TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, it is a clear target.
“They are taking data from Americans, not keeping it safe, but what worries me more with TikTok is that this could be a propaganda tool. The kind of videos you see would promote ideological issues,” Warner told Fox News Sunday, while acknowledging that over 100 million Americans are on the popular video-sharing app 90 minutes a day.
“If you look at what TikTok shows to the Chinese kids, which is all about science and engineering, versus what our kids see, there’s a radical difference,” he added.
The bipartisan legislation comes as Chinese-linked platforms, such as TikTok, have received a lot of attention for being a problem for the privacy of Americans and a national security threat. Recently, the Biden White House issued a directive that gave all government agencies 30 days to eliminate the Chinese social media app TikTok, which is now banned by law from any U.S. government devices.
The Biden administration made the directive after the legislation passed last year, giving the administration 60 days to enact the law after growing national security concerns over what data the Chinese social media app collects and who can access the data.
TikTok is no stranger to challenges from U.S. officials. Numerous governors have announced they would ban TikTok and other Chinese-linked companies from being on state government devices. Additionally, in 2020, then-President Donald Trump’s administration tried to ban TikTok, which resulted in the Chinese social media app’s parent company divesting the platform to an American company.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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