Twelve senators, led by Democrat senator Mark Warner and Republican senator John Thune, have introduced bills that give President Biden and the Department of Commerce more powers to regulate and enforce sanctions on Chinese companies, including TikTok.
Lawmakers Tammy Baldwin, Deb Fischer, Joe Manchin, Jerry Moran, Michael Bennet, Dan Sullivan, Kirsten Gillibrand, Susan Collins, Martin Heinrich and Mitt Romney ‘s signature.
Warner, at their press conference regarding the bill, noted that the regulations on social media companies could also be applied to companies in Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
Noting that foreign technology companies have taken this step on the grounds that they may pose a threat to national security, Warner emphasized that the law will not be limited to TikTok. Warner, on the other hand, stated that people who use TikTok in the USA will not be held individually responsible.
The White House welcomed the bill
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a written statement that senators support the RESTRICT Act.
Sullivan stated that the bill in question authorizes the US government to prevent foreign governments from exploiting technology companies operating in the US in a way that poses a risk to Americans’ sensitive data and national security.
Noting that information and communication technologies are an integral part of Americans’ lives, Sullivan said, “The bill will help us address the threats we face today and prevent such risks from emerging in the future.” used the phrase.
Sullivan urged Congress to act quickly to send the bill to President Biden’s desk.
TikTok ban in government institutions in the USA
In the US, on February 28, government agencies were given 30 days to enforce the ban on TikTok use on official phones.
Many government agencies, including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department, banned TikTok without waiting for the December vote in Congress. The US Senate unanimously passed the bill on December 15, 2022, which bans federal government employees from downloading TikTok to state-owned devices due to “national security concerns”.
On December 28, 2022, the US House of Representatives banned the download and use of the TikTok application on official devices used by its members and employees. Many states have passed similar laws banning the use of TikTok, including Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Indiana, and Texas.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is expected to testify on the matter in Congress on March 23.