Mitch McConnell back home after completing physical therapy for concussion
March 26, 2023
The White House has spoken out in favor of a bipartisan bill that would grant President Biden the authority to ban TikTok over potential privacy concerns.
The bipartisan Senate bill, which was signed on Tuesday, grants power to the Commerce Department to analyze deals, software updates or data transfers by any tech company in which an overseas interest has some kind of investment or interest.
Tiktok, which is closing in on Netflix in terms of viewing time, is owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
If the Commerce secretary believes that a transaction poses “undue or unacceptable risk” to the United States, the new bill gives them authority to refer this directly to the President.
The bill is called RESTRICT, which is an acronym for Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology.
Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA) who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, formally announced the bill alongside bi-partisan co-sponsors.
“These risks are not going away, and unfortunately our tools to date have been limited. We are going to create a new set of authorities” Warner said.
Jake Sullivan, who is the White House National Security adviser, issued a statement praising the bill and the help that it would provide in dealing with security breaches from the tech sector.
“This bill presents a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan pleaded with congress “to act quickly to send the bill to the President’s desk.”
“Critically, it would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, and systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors,” said Sullivan.
TikTok issued their own response to the legislation.
“The swiftest and most thorough way to address any national security concerns about TikTok is for Cfius to adopt the proposed agreement that we worked with them on for nearly two years,” TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have been waiting for Cfius to finalize our agreement for over six months now, while our status has been debated in public in a way that is divorced from the facts of that agreement and what we’ve achieved already.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: REDDIT